Charlotte Morris was the best friend of Patricia Hillman. After her murder by ex-husband Richard in May 2002, Charlotte reported her disappearance to the British police when Patricia failed to turn up as arranged in Sydney where Charlotte now lived. In the September an unknown woman's body was fished out of a canal and a satisfied Richard identified it as his ex-wife's, thereby hoping to end any further police investigation.
He was therefore shaken when Charlotte turned up at 8 Coronation Street without warning in October, wanting to help with the funeral arrangements and also to see her friend's body at the hospital mortuary one last time. Gail Hillman reacted sympathetically and helpfully to Charlotte's requests while Richard did everything he could to dissuade her. Gail sensed a tension but Richard put it down to the fact that when his marriage broke up acrimoniously, Charlotte took Patricia's side in all the arguments. Richard was on the point of desperation and was making plans to kill Charlotte once she realised that the body wasn't the right one however WPC Jessop called to say that dental records had shown that his identification had been incorrect but the police understood that the event was a stressful one for anybody and mistakes do occur.
Gail invited Charlotte to come for dinner with them which proved to be another hurdle for Richard when she spotted that a gold bracelet that Gail was wearing was one that Patricia had owned. The incriminating item had fallen off his ex-wife's wrist when he had bludgeoned her to death at The Ridings flat development and which he had found on the ground before her body was buried under the foundations. Charlotte demanded to know how it had come to be in Gail's possession and he span a plausible story that it was his grandmother's to pass down through the family and that included each of his wives! Gail was hurt that she was in possession of a hand-me-down and hadn't previously been told the full story whereas Charlotte was more suspicious than ever – only to be countered by Richard's accusation that her antagonism towards him was because he had spurned repeated passes that she had once made towards him. Richard took the chastened woman her back to her hotel and the next day, prior to her return home, she called in and apologised for the upset she had caused. She returned to Australia and another opportunity to expose Richard had passed.
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