Doreen and her husband Jeff didn't approve of their daughter going out with Terry, especially when he was arrested for GBH and received a custodial sentence. As Terry and Lisa were planning to get married, Jack Duckworth contacted the Hortons and arranged for them to visit him and Vera at 9 Coronation Street. Doreen was more considerate of Lisa's feelings than Jeff, but she usually sided with her husband. With Terry being given a day release from jail to marry Lisa, the Hortons witnessed him running off when he was released from his handcuffs by his prison officer, and returned home to Blackpool when Lisa decided to stay in Weatherfield in case Terry got in touch.
Lisa moved back to her parents house just before Christmas, by which time Tom had been born. Lisa had decided to leave Terry but she was persuaded to return to Weatherfield by Des Barnes, with whom she had become close while living there before. When Lisa was killed in a car accident in 1993, Doreen and Jeff wanted custody of Tom. At the time, Terry was still in prison and so Tom was looked after by Jack and Vera, who expected Terry to take him on when he was released at the end of the year, but the Hortons made a private deal with Terry to pay him £3,000 a year in exchange for custody of Tom. Terry agreed and took Tom off Jack and Vera on Christmas Eve to hand him over to the Hortons, who were annoyed to discover that Terry hadn't told the Duckworths (he led them to believe he was taking Tommy for a day out) so Jeff went with him to tell them when Doreen expressed a fear that Jack and Vera would think they'd snatched him. The incident destroyed the Duckworths' relationship with their son, but the Hortons saw no reason to cut them out of Tommy's life and they allowed Jack and Vera to have him on school holidays. In the summer of 1994, Jack and Vera stayed with the Hortons in Blackpool to see Tommy.
In 1996, Jeff couldn't come up with the full amount of money for Terry, so Terry took Tommy back to Coronation Street to his parents. Jeff however paid Terry £10,000 and got him to sign a custody agreement so they could look after Tommy until his eighteenth birthday. This was the last time Terry had anything to do with the Horton family and Jeff and Doreen never told Tommy the truth about why he and Doreen were raising him. In 1997, Tricia Armstrong visited the Hortons and asked them to let Terry know she was looking for him, but they didn't know how to contact him and Jeff advised her to have nothing to do with him.
In 2000, Doreen left Jeff for Carl Mason and turned up at the Park Road B&B to ask the Duckworths to hand Tommy over to her as his legal guardian, as Jeff had left Tommy with them while he sorted things out. When the Duckworths refused her, Doreen lay in wait and then snatched him from Coronation Street Garage when Tyrone Dobbs wasn't looking. Tyrone and Maria Sutherland then grabbed him back. Jeff and Doreen later contacted the Duckworths to tell them they'd patched up their marriage and took Tommy back.