As well as having an affair with Philippa’s best friend Tess, Geoff was a controlling and mentally abusive husband and Philippa fled the marriage in late 1973 when Tim was only a year old. The reason Philippa fled was because she thought Geoff was going to kill her and feared for her life. She tried to take Tim with her but Geoff wouldn't let her and wouldn’t let her back in to get Tim after running away, rejecting all her attempts to make contact with or get news of Tim. To her horror, her former best friend Tess even took Geoff’s side.
Geoff told her if she ever came back and had anything to do with their son, he would kill her. They officially divorced in 1974 but Geoff told everyone that Philippa had died of breast cancer. Philippa changed her name at random by deed poll - from then on she went by Elaine Jones.
In 2020, Elaine was disgusted to learn from newspaper reports that Geoff hadn't changed in the intervening years and that his third wife, Yasmeen, had been painted as the abuser in their relationship and was now facing prison time for assaulting him. Paying a visit to Yasmeen, Elaine was finally able to help her understand that she had been a victim of coercive control. Meanwhile, on the street Elaine found allies in Yasmeen's granddaughter Alya and her boyfriend Ryan Connor, as well as Tim's wife Sally.
Indoctrinated by his father, Tim refused to believe that Elaine was his mother and, after being threatened by Geoff, Elaine voluntarily checked herself into Weatherfield General's psychiatric ward. The seemingly unexplained disappearance of Elaine led to some speculating that she had been "dealt with" by Geoff. Eventually, video footage emerged of Geoff hurling verbal abuse at Yasmeen, leading to Tim finally turning against his father. Now convinced that Elaine was telling the truth about everything, Tim retrieved her contact address in Bolton which he had previously discarded but was unsuccessful in locating her.
Months later in December, Tim paid a visit to Elaine in hospital after receiving information about her whereabouts from the police. The pair had an emotional reunion, in which Tim apologised for having rejected Elaine and she agreed to give evidence against her abuser. However, Geoff managed to enter Elaine's room unnoticed once Tim had left. He threatened Elaine's life once again, all the while savagely belittling and bullying her; the incident reduced her to floods of tears. But ultimately undeterred, Elaine found the courage to attend Weatherfield Crown Court and give evidence. As a result of her testimony, plus solicitor Imran Habeeb's ability to track down CCTV footage of Geoff visiting Elaine's hospital ward, the jury were swayed in Yasmeen's favour and she was found not guilty. Geoff later died after falling from the roof of 6 Coronation Street while attempting to chase down his wife, and Elaine attempted to comfort those he had left behind, sitting with a shell-shocked Yasmeen (who witnessed her husband's demise) while she was interviewed by DS Abney. With Geoff finally out of their lives forever, Elaine and Tim began to bond as mother and son for the first time, although she declined moving with the Metcalfes at No.4 as she didn't want to take things too quickly.
Elaine began helping Yasmeen recover from Geoff's abuse. She got a job at Speed Daal and also bonded with Tim and Sally. In March 2021, Elaine accepted Geoff's shares in the business and Yasmeen's invitation to move into No.6, although that meant Elaine had to rehome Tinkerbell - a Pomeranian that she was fostering.
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