When Tina was violently assaulted at the Builder's Yard in Victoria Street, Vanner and Hawthorn were assigned to the case. They turned up at 19a Rosamund Street and arrested Carla Barlow on suspicion of attacking Tina, as she was seen storming out of the Rovers threatening to "kill" Tina after discovering she had an affair with her husband Peter. After questioning at Weatherfield Police Station, Carla was released pending further inquiries. Her brother Rob Donovan stated they'd arrested the wrong person, and that Peter was their prime suspect. They later called at the Rovers and interviewed Liz and Steve McDonald. Steve was forced to admit that he had known about Peter's affair with Tina for a while.
When Tina died a week following her attack, the case become a murder investigation. Hawthorn and Vanner later brought Carla back to the station for more questioning, however they released her once again. The stress of the situation caused Carla to suffer a miscarriage.
Hawthorn and Vanner attended Tina's funeral a few weeks later, where a fight between Rob and Peter broke out at the graveside. Both men were arrested, although Rob was later released but Peter was kept in the cells overnight to sober up. Peter was subject to another round of questioning when he was overheard by the graveside saying that he and Tina were even, making him a suspect however he was released without charge. In July, the police were contacted when Rob's fiancée Tracy Barlow was wearing a bracelet belonging to Tina's flatmate Steph Britton which was stolen during the night of the attack. The police turned up at Barlow's Buys and Tracy confessed that the bracelet was found in the yard at 1 Coronation Street. The house then became a crime scene, and when broken bits of the bracelet contained Peter's finger prints, Hawthorn and Vanner arrested him and eventually charged Peter with the murder of Tina.
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