The plainclothes detective was assigned to the case just before Alan was due to stand trial for fraud and the attempted murder of Rita Fairclough. Crichton informed Rita and Jenny Bradley that a date had been set for the trial and gave Rita advice about taking the stand. Rita felt confident about giving evidence against Alan but paused for thought when Crichton warned her that the defence would paint her as the villain and that she couldn't rely on Jenny and Martin Platt's witness testimonies to secure a guilty verdict.
Just before the trial at Weatherfield Crown Court, the prosecution dealt with a number of setbacks. Martin came down with mumps, absenting him from court, and after speaking to Rita on the morning of the trial and finding her tense and excitable, Crichton warned Mr Myers, the prosecution barrister, that in her state of mind the jury may find her unsympathetic. Concurring, Mr Myers arranged with the defence to go for the lesser charge of assault, to which Alan plead guilty. Alan was sentenced to two years, with one suspended, so having served seven months, and been granted remission for good behaviour, Alan was released from the court that day.
Crichton returned to the case three weeks later when The Kabin had a break-in during the night, its video library ransacked. The obvious suspect was Alan, as he had installed the burglar alarm and created the video library, but when brought in for questioning he denied involvement. After a night in the cells, Alan was released without charge as some lads had been caught trying to sell the stolen videos.
A few weeks later, Mavis Wilton reported Rita missing to the police. Mavis told Crichton that Rita hadn't been seen for two days, but Crichton was unconcerned and suggested that she'd left to get away from her recent troubles. Mavis wasn't convinced, and when Rita still hadn't been in touch a week on, Mavis went to the police station with councillor Deirdre Barlow in tow to convince Crichton to take the matter more seriously, voicing her suspicion that Alan had killed Rita. Crichton agreed to investigate, but several interviews with Alan and full police searches of 7 Coronation Street and Alan's bedsit at 31 Redford Street failed to turn up any evidence of Rita's whereabouts. The police then moved onto the building site in Coronation Street, where Alan had been working, and dug it up to find out if Alan had buried Rita there, also finding nothing.
Rita was found safe but not entirely well shortly afterwards by Cyril Partridge, manager of The Strand Hotel in Blackpool. Her ordeal with Alan had caused her to have a breakdown and block the events of the last few years from her mind. An old friend of Alec Gilroy's, Cyril rang Alec to confirm that Rita was his act, as she claimed. Concerned for their friend, Alec and Bet Gilroy immediately went to Blackpool to confirm that she was at the hotel, but due to her present state of mind, Bet insisted on not calling the police. Upon returning to Weatherfield, Alec went against his wife's instructions and informed Crichton and Jordan, who were unimpressed with the delay as Rita had since gone missing again. The men followed up the case in Blackpool, but as there was no foul play involved, the case was turned over to the local police.
Later that day, Alan turned up at the hotel and tried to force Rita into his car to prove to everyone that he hadn't killed her. Rita escaped from him, and while chasing her, Alan was hit and killed by a tram. In his last involvement with the Bradley case, Crichton took Jenny to identify the body and, despite her insistence of being left alone afterwards, asked Sally Webster to check in on her.
Crichton had once delivered papers for Biddulph's newsagent, many years before it was known as The Kabin.