Christine Hillier was a social worker assigned to children's services who was caught up in the machinations of Jade Rowan to obtain custody of her half-sister Hope Stape. Jade had entered the lives of Fiz Stape and Tyrone Dobbs without revealing that she was the daughter of Fiz's deceased husband, the murderer John Stape. Unbalanced by the revelations as to her father's true nature, she was determined to take her away from her parents by legal means and begin a new life with the two of them together. She therefore took any opportunity she could to poison the child's mind against her family and also to create the impression in the minds of medical professionals that Hope was being physically abused in her home.
She used a real accident as part of her plan when Tyrone's small daughter Ruby pushed Hope off a bench in Victoria Gardens in January 2019, fracturing her arm. Jade filled the child's head with stories that the police would take Ruby away from her if they thought she had hurt her and persuaded the gullible child to claim that a door closed on her arm, thus causing Doctor Shardlow at Weatherfield General to suspect abuse. In quick succession she visited Dr Gaddas at the Rosamund Street Medical Centre to tearfully claim that such actions were taking place and showed her some photos she had taken some weeks earlier of fake bruises she had taken when playing "make-up" with Hope.
Both doctors alerted social services and Christine began to investigate the matter. She called to Bessie Street School to interview Hope who stuck to the narrative that Jade had inculcated in her. Christine therefore broke the news to the devastated parents that not just Hope but also Ruby were being taken out of the household while they were investigated. With no immediate alternative family members able to take them in, Kevin Webster offered to house them in No.13 under the imposed written condition that visiting was only by arrangement, however he was willing to turn a blind eye and allowed both girls to visit their parents, unaware that Jade was anonymously alerting to Christine to what was going on. Catching Fiz and Tyrone red-handed with their daughters, they were immediately taken into foster care under a voluntary section 20 agreement when threatened with the police being alerted with a protection order.
Things took a dramatic turn when Christine was approached by another family member who said that she was willing to foster the girls. A thoroughly puzzled Tyrone and Fiz were stunned to see that the person in question was Jade. Realising what had actually been going on, a furious row ensued in Christine's office when Jade claimed that the two had known all along she was John's daughter, causing Christine to become suspicious as to what was actually going on under her nose. She informed a tearful Jade that now that she knew she was lodging in No.9 during the time of the abuse, fostering by her was now out of the question.
As all of Jade's allegations were targeted against Fiz, Christine's investigations resulted in a change to the order: the girls could move back into No.9 on condition that Fiz moved out and had no unsupervised contact with them. With the greatest reluctance, she agreed and moved into a B&B.
A breakthrough occurred one after a week when Ruby innocently piped up that Jade had applied the make-up bruises to Hope's arm. Christine was alerted and with the trail now warm, Tyrone remembered that he had taken a picture of Hope in her new school uniform very soon after the day that Jade had photographed the bruises. These showed no marks and they also remembered that Dr Gaddas had treated Hope for a cut hand on the same day and would have noticed any bruising. Hope still refused to volunteer any information different to what had been said already but was caught out by her great-grandmother Evelyn Plummer with a phone supplied by Jade with a series of texts proving that she had been messing with the child's mind. Christine used this further proof to gently get Hope to admit the truth of what had been happening. She had Jade arrested and brought in for questioning by both the police and herself, but was let go for the interim with instructions not to contact Hope.
Although Fiz was allowed to return to the family home, Hope was still obsessed with her half-sister and ran away to be with her. Jade was, for once, innocent of this development and was distraught when she found out the girl was missing, realising how far she had pushed matters. Fiz, pushed beyond endurance, assaulted her resulting in a form of blackmail from Jade, and Fiz and Tyrone telling a surprised Christine they wanted a voluntary arrangement for access rights for Jade when Hope was returned, in the hope of buying her off. Christine had come round to the conclusion that Jade had mental health issues which had caused harm to the family but agreed to proceed with a risk assessment prior to such an arrangement.
The assessment showed that Jade displayed genuine signs of remorse and visits by arrangement were agreed. Fiz and Tyrone did their best to avoid these but matters changed when Jade's pernicious influence on Hope was removed by her not being in the house. The young girl saw matters more clearly than before and realised that the things that Jade had been saying about her mummy were untrue. Devastated when Hope accused her of telling lies, Jade left the family alone and moved out of their lives.
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