Darren Whateley was the killer of Brian Tilsley.
In February 1989, Whateley and his friends were hanging around outside Mahoney's Bar and began bothering a girl. Having met Alison Oakley inside the bar, Brian began to intervene, but after a struggle, Brian was pinned down as Whateley stabbed him with a knife. The gang then made off leaving Brian bleeding profusely on the ground. He died on the way to Weatherfield General, leaving behind widow Gail and two children. Whateley was subsequently arrested, charged and sent to Strangeways Jail for Brian's murder.
In April 1998, a class at Granston Technical College received a visit from Whateley, where he spoke about how awful being in prison was and how it had affected his life. One of the students happened to be Nick Tilsley, Brian's son who had then worked out that Whateley was his father's killer when he'd talked about stabbing a man outside a nightclub almost ten years previously. Nick began plotting his revenge against Whateley, and got his wife Leanne to send letters to him in prison. When Whateley was released the following month, he turned up at 4 Coronation Street and told Leanne that he couldn't wait to see her and attempted to bed her, but they were interrupted by Ashley Peacock. He quickly left the house but assured Leanne that he would be back. Angered at her husband for using her as bait, Leanne moved back in with her family at No.5 and told Nick that she wanted a divorce. A couple of days later, Whateley was in Roy's Rolls when he overheard Gail discussing Leanne and Nick's relationship, and discovered that he had been set up. Whateley then trapped Leanne inside No.5 and accused her of leading him on. Upon hearing the commotion from outside, Nick kicked down the front door and after failing to overpower Whateley, made a grab for a bread knife but after telling Nick that he couldn't have his revenge, Whateley casually walked out of the house.
The couple quickly sorted out their differences and Leanne agreed to move back to No.4, although she was still frightened when alone inside the house. In early June, the couple decided to report the incidents to the police - where they were assured by Det. Inspector Grey that because Whateley was only out of prison under licence, he would be sent straight back inside for any offences committed during his probation. Having been rearrested and back in Strangeways, Whateley telephoned Leanne and told her that because of her "tricks" he could serve at least another five years. A guilt-ridden Leanne went to visit him later in the month where he told her that she could get him released again by informing the police about the letters that the couple had sent to him. However, Nick was adamant that Whateley was where he belonged - back behind bars again - and refused to further involve the police.
- Darren was credited as "Disco Youth" in his 1989 appearance and was played by Ian Aspinall. The character was then played by Andy Robb in his 1998 appearances.
List of appearances