Lenny Larkin, along with his friend Dean Sykes, attempted to rob the supermarket Freshco in October 2000. This plan soon backfired however, as the safe was locked, and physically could not be reopened until 6.00am the next morning, due to the devices's automatic system. This meant that Lenny and Dean had to wait the night, taking eight hostages in the process - Fred Elliott, Mike Baldwin, Ken Barlow, Alma Halliwell, Ashley Peacock, Curly Watts, Frank O'Connor and Wendy Jones.
The hostages eventually got hungry and uncomfortable, so Dean and Lenny reluctantly allowed them to have a barbecue using items from the store shelves.
Again, this plan backfired as the fire alarm sounded, alerting the fire brigade who quickly arrived on the scene. Despite Dean's best efforts to turn them away by having Curly tell them that there was nothing untoward happening, the fire brigade contacted the police.
This led to a lengthy negotiation between Dean and the police. When Dean refused to listen to sense, the police rushed in. Markswoman Emma Taylor shot Dean - who after going into cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to Weatherfield General -later succumbed to his injuries.
Meanwhile, Lenny panicked and took Ashley with him to Curly's office. Lenny threatened to kill Ashley if his demands were not met, but Fred soon came to his son's rescue and tried to reason with Lenny. This only escalated things however, as Lenny then decided he would shoot Fred instead. In desperation, Ashley attacked Lenny and took the gun. Fred then told police that the crisis had been averted, and that they could come up to the office. Fred later reflected on the situation, realising that Ashley saved his life, as Lenny was led away by police.
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