When Janice Battersby began a relationship with policeman Mick Hopwood in December 2002, her separated husband Les Battersby was angry and jealous as he was continuously hoping for a reconciliation with her. At every opportunity, he goaded the couple and while Janice was able to shrug off his insults, Mick's skin wasn't so thick and Les's jibes started to get to him. Out on traffic patrol with fellow copper Emma Watts one day, they stopped Les when he drove through a red light in his Street Cars taxi. Les immediately complained of victimisation and when he stated that Janice had been with so many men that he was surprised that Mick hadn't caught something, the policemen set about viciously assaulting him. Emma was shocked and stunned but reluctantly back up Mick's false report that Les attacked him first.
Les was duly charged and bailed to appear in Weatherfield Crown Court. Furious, Les tried to get evidence of his innocence and friend Kirk Sutherland helped him to remember that he had seen a Jack Russell terrier in the area and he went looking for the dog and its owner, almost getting arrested for kerb-crawling as a result. The dog belonged to vagrant Dave Arden who was sleeping rough and had indeed seen the truth of the incident but Kirk failed to link the man to the dog on his first visit. On the eve of Les's trial in May 2003, he was more successful and brought back to Coronation Street to meet Les. Dave appeared in court and gave evidence on Les's behalf but the prosecution brought out the fact that he had run-ins with the police himself in the past and the jury disregarded his evidence when they found Les guilty. He was sentenced to six months in jail.
List of appearances