Abi had been visited by Steve McDonald in order to discuss rent but put him off entering as she needed to use the house to impress Claire. Steve left as Claire arrived and Abi claimed that he was an admirer who she had turned down as she was only interested in a relationship with her kids.
Abi made a positive impression on Claire and impressed her with her new attitude and improved living standards. Claire told Abi that she needed a copy of her tenancy agreement which led Abi to believe that her twins would be returning home soon. However, she was disappointed when Claire told her that although she was making a great start, she needed to stay clean and continue to make positive steps through supervised visits in order to get her twins back.
Claire's next meeting with Abi was at Webster's Autocentre during the following month. Abi had been drinking heavily at Beth Sutherland's party the night before and was discovered by Eileen Grimshaw sleeping in a customer's car. When Claire asked if anyone had seen Abi, Eileen attempted to cover up for her by saying that she hadn't seen her. However, Abi then woke up and emerged from the car looking hung-over, which failed to impress Claire, who had been expecting a meeting at No.11.
Two weeks later, Claire dropped the twins off with Abi for their very first unsupervised visit with their mother. The day went badly though as the children didn’t enjoy being with Abi and she found it hard coping with them, especially when Charlie went momentarily missing, being found in the Rovers’ back yard. Crying, she rang Claire to pick up the twins but then went astray herself before they could be collected by her. Claire dealt with Eileen Grimshaw and Tracy Barlow instead and asked her to pass on a message that such a setback was perfectly normal. Tracy covered for Abi by saying that he had gone out to an emergency breakdown on the M6 as part of her job as a mechanic at Webster's Autocentre though Claire wasn’t entirely taken in by the deception. A day later she was back, to chat about the visit and reprimanded Abi for asking Charlie to keep quiet about his short disappearance.
Events took a turn for the worse in the autumn when Tracy jumped to an erroneous conclusion and suspected Abi of sleeping with her fiancé Steve McDonald. In revenge, she sabotaged the cooling hose on Michelle Connor’s car which had been left unattended in the garage while Abi was working on it. It was then involved in an incident which ended with the death of gangster Ronan Truman and the police’s investigation showed up the sabotage. Abi fell under suspicion and Kevin Webster had no option but to sack her, especially when she slapped him after he commented that her kids were better off without her. When she tried to remonstrate with him again a few days later, Claire turned up for another visit with the children just at the moment that Abi threatened to hit Kevin again. She was forced to tell her everything that happened, worried that she would never see the children again.
Tracy tried to come to Abi's aid by getting Steve to employ her at Street Cars but the setbacks had knocked her confidence and she turned back to drink and drugs again. Ending up being rushed to Weatherfield General after an overdose, Claire visited Abi after she had been discharged and told her that after she had relapsed after signing a working agreement promising to be clean she had no option but to stop the twins' visits. Abi felt there was no option but to let the twins be adopted, despite Seb's pleadings. Claire warned Abi to think carefully as once an adoption order was granted, she would only be granted the contact of a once-a-year letter.
Seb himself applied for special guardianship and Abi was stunned to find them in a meeting to discuss the matter inside No.11. Abi felt he wasn’t capable of bringing them up and Claire herself had reservations, warning Seb that if he was successful, Abi wouldn’t be able to live with them as he had the enhanced parental responsibility and she would only be able to have agreed contact arrangements.
Seb’s application went ahead but with all the cards against him: Eileen refused to be his over-21 supporter, Gary Windass sacked him from his builder's job and in court he made matters worse by lying about the latter fact and exaggerating his other circumstances. As Claire watched on, Abi was asked by the Magistrate her opinion of Seb’s suitability and she answered truthfully, correcting his lies and saying that as much as it pained her, she felt the children were better off with the Boulters. An order to allow them to adopt was duly given and both Abi and Seb lost their family for good.
Claire was later present when both Abi and Seb said their final goodbyes to the twins. After, she led the twins away, leaving both Abi and Seb devastated.
List of appearances
- Fri 22nd Jun
- Wed 25th Jul (1)
- Wed 8th Aug (1)
- Wed 8th Aug (2)
- Fri 10th Aug (1)
- Mon 29th Oct (1)
- Wed 14th Nov (1)
- Fri 16th Nov (1)