Mr Hughes was a manager at the Manchester branch of the Castlewell Building Society. In December 1988, Mr Hughes took a mortgage application from Alan Bradley, who asked for £15,000 to finance the expansion of his home security business, Bradley Securities Limited. Alan used his partner Rita Fairclough's property 7 Coronation Street as security for the loan by posing as her late husband Len, and went to Manchester instead of his local Weatherfield branch in case he was recognised. Unaware that his client was committing fraud, Mr Hughes took down his details as a matter of routine.
On 11th January, Alan phoned the building society to speak to Mr Hughes and learned that the mortgage had been approved.