Marie had lived in the street next to Eddie. Jamie was born out of wedlock on 30th November 1988; Eddie wanted to marry but Marie, suffering postnatal depression, rejected her son and threatened to dump him on the police station steps. Taking her behaviour at face value, Eddie cut ties with Marie and started raising Jamie as a single father, with his mother looking after the baby while Eddie worked on the building sites.
After seeing a psychiatrist, Marie recovered from her depression and tried to get in touch with Eddie. Marie wasn't seeking a reconciliation and was interested solely in Jamie but in the wake of her prior behaviour, Eddie, Mrs Ramsden and Eddie's current girlfriend Tina Fowler made sure that she didn't get to see her son. Fearing that Marie or her brothers would try to snatch Jamie, Tina arranged with Bet Gilroy to put him up at the Rovers until the situation blew over, passing him off as her own to Marie when she overheard Alec mention a baby at the establishment. Marie quickly discovered this to be a lie and tried to recover Jamie from the Rovers by force, with her brother Carl supporting her, only backing down when Bet made her see that it would look bad in court. To strengthen his case against Marie in an anticipated custody battle, Eddie got engaged to Tina and booked a registry office wedding for the following week, but after a conversation with Marie he changed his mind and reconciled with her instead.
For a while, Jamie had some stability with his parents at their Clarence Street home, where they moved after getting married. However, after a while Eddie started treating Marie like a baby-sitter while he went out with his mates, and later in the year he was handed a prison sentence for hitting a policeman at the Railwayman's Arms. Marie took the opportunity to leave Eddie, making sure that he wouldn't be able to trace her when he regained his freedom. Moving into a tower block at Maxton Walk, Marie couldn't work because of Jamie, and had to get by on the £40 a week she received from the social.
In November 1990, Marie and Jamie were given a lift home by taxi driver Don Brennan, who remembered them from their earlier visits to Coronation Street. After seeing where she lived, Don let Marie off with the fare. He became her regular driver to and from the hospital, where Jamie met a physiotherapist three times a week because of a bad hip. Horrified at her living conditions, and worried for Jamie's health, Don never charged her for the journeys, telling her that seeing Jamie smile was enough satisfaction.
For a few weeks, Don was a regular caller at the flat, stopping for tea after dropping Marie and Jamie off and helping Marie with her shopping. Marie was glad to have company besides Jamie and a chance to take her mind off her problems for a while, and after a while she confided in him that she'd left Eddie, having previously let him believe that Eddie had walked out on them. However, they exchanged cross words when Don surreptitiously slipped Marie £20 and later when he discussed Eddie being in prison with Bet Gilroy. When Don paid Marie's £91 gas bill to prevent her from being cut off, Marie offered to have sex with him, assuming that he'd been after that from the start. This stunned Don, who had just wanted to help her out and told her that she was worth more than that.
To ensure that there was no further misunderstanding between them, Don immediately told Ivy Brennan about Marie and they visited her together. After seeing Marie and Jamie's living conditions for herself, Ivy made the suggestion that they stay at 5 Coronation Street over Christmas. Marie agreed, and once there took the opportunity to get away from Jamie for a night and go out to see her old girlfriends from where she used to work. On Christmas Day, Marie clashed with Ivy when she fed Jamie toffee before dinner. Marie told Ivy that Jamie wouldn't be having turkey as he didn't like it, but Ivy dismissed this and took charge, confiscating his Smarties tube. Marie decided that the Brennans were becoming too interfering and returned home to the flat immediately. She had no further contact with either of them.