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Nicola Rubinstein was the long-lost daughter of serial killer Pat Phelan.

Conceived when Phelan raped her mother Annabel, Nicola fell into Phelan's orbit as an adult in 2017 when she was assigned as Seb Franklin's caseworker. She allowed Phelan to get to know her in the belief that he and Annabel had had an affair, but disowned him when the truth emerged. She later helped Seb, Anna and Gary Windass expose Phelan's multitude of other crimes.

In 2018, Nicola gave birth to her son Zack, the product of a one-night-stand between her and Gary. After Phelan stormed No.11 with a gun and his death after being stabbed by Anna, Nicola moved to Bristol, where she continues to raise Zack. She last visited the street in 2019.

Biography

1990-2017: Shielded from her true parentage

Born in 1990, Nicola was raised by her mother Annabel and her supposed father Isaac Rubinstein alongside an older sister. Unbeknown to her, Nicola's real father was Pat Phelan, who had raped Annabel. Isaac had remained with his wife, believing her rape allegation rather than Pat's claim that the pair had been having an affair.

Sometime prior to 2017, Nicola began working as a social worker and lost both her parents in a car crash.

2017-2018: Discovering her real father

In 2017, Nicola was enrolled as the caseworker of Seb Franklin, who had been arrested and imprisoned in Larchfield Young Offenders Institute following his attack on Jackson Hodge. As Seb's release date neared, Nicola turned up at 11 Coronation Street in order to ask Pat Phelan to take Seb on as an apprentice to keep him out of trouble.

2017: Pat takes Nicola and Seb to Livepool

Instantly taking an interest in Nicola, believing that there was a possibility that she was his daughter, Phelan began changing himself to impress her. However, his efforts led to mocking from Seb and, in a fit of rage, Phelan grabbed him and pinned him against the wall, witnessed by a horrified Nicola. Furthering his attempt to impress her, Phelan took Nicola and Seb out for a day in his hometown of Liverpool. During the day, Phelan told the pair about his relationship with his parents and that he had met the love of his life whilst working in Toxteth. Phelan made Nicola feel uncomfortable during the visit by remarking that she reminded him of his former love, however, Nicola eventually warned to him and commented that it was nice to see a softer, more gentle side of him.

Gathering further information about her, Phelan was suspected of stalking Nicola when she found out about his research. With Nicola threatening to report him, Phelan revealed that he had known her parents. Nicola agreed to reintroduce them, taking Pat to the lake at Greenfield Park where a bench engraved with a plaque had been dedicated to their memory following their deaths. Phelan then admitted that he may be her father. Nicola was unhappy to hear from Pat that her mother had ended their affair nine months before she was born. Nicola told Phelan that she'd prefer not to know who her real father was, and demanded that he leave her alone in future.

After hearing about Phelan and Nicola's falling out, Seb told Nicola that he had lost his job because Phelan was dying. Nicola decided to go to No.11 and handed Eileen a DNA test for Phelan to take. Two weeks later, she returned with the results and announced to Phelan that she was indeed his daughter.

Nicola soon had a one-night stand with Gary Windass, which resulted in her pregnancy. Eileen was elated when Gary told her the news, as was Pat, until it was revealed that his old enemy Gary was the father. Nicola began to grow suspicious of her father when she noticed Phelan teasing Gary in the Rovers. This continued when she met Gary's mother Anna, and noticed her evident distaste at the mention of Phelan.

A month later, Seb fell off his ladder and was discovered by Anna, who phoned an ambulance for Seb to be rushed into hospital. When Nicola was called into the hospital, left alone with Anna, Nicola confided to her about her pregnancy, but without revealing Gary as the father. Anna explained her past history with Phelan, including Phelan blackmailing her into sleeping with him back in 2014.

Nicola decided to do some more digging by visiting her mother's old next-door neighbour Lydia Hartman. During their last encounter, Nicola had noticed that Lydia was visibly horrified after recognising Phelan from one of her photos. Upon visiting Lydia at her house, Nicola learned that nine months before she was born, Lydia had witnessed Phelan scrapping with Isaac. In a separate incident, Annabel had revealed to Lydia that Phelan never had an affair with her, and had in fact forced himself on her.

Shortly afterwards, Nicola confronted Phelan at her late parents' park bench and accused him of raping her mother and Anna. Phelan insisted that he loved Annabel and that Lydia and Anna hated him and were spreading lies. When she called her father "evil", Phelan lashed out and pleaded with Nicola to believe him, but she refused and disowned her father, telling him to never contact her or go near her soon-to-be-born child again. Her baby became her only remaining link to the street, with David Platt, brother of Gary's partner Sarah Platt, later calling on Nicola and forcing her to divulge that she was pregnant with Gary's baby.

After Anna was imprisoned for causing Seb's ladder accident, she returned to the street and seemingly made amends with her dad. Later on, Gary learned that Nicola was actually feigning her reunion with Phelan when she took him to her flat, where he found that Nicola was harbouring Seb to protect him from Phelan due to his knowledge that Phelan had framed Anna for his accident. Gary and Nicola agreed to work together to take Phelan down, but Phelan discovered her deception and subsequently disowned her for betraying him. Nicola temporarily left Weatherfield on a break in order to get away from Phelan, which left Gary and Seb to work alongside Faye's father Tim Metcalfe in bringing down Phelan themselves.

In April 2018, Nicola returned to Weatherfield when her father's crimes were finally exposed and Phelan himself was presumed dead after he fell into the sea following a stand-off with Eileen, on the night she finally discovered that not only had her husband raped Anna, but murdered Luke Britton, Andy Carver and Harvey McArdle. Nicola was shocked to discover that Phelan was also the perpetrator in the Calcutta Street flats scam project and had caused the death of Michael Rodwell. Later on, Nicola made contact with Eileen again and the pair became friends once more, up to the point when Nicola and Seb moved into No.11 to help Eileen recuperate from her ordeal with Phelan. As such, Nicola requested Eileen to provide assistance with her impending birth.

Nicola eventually gave birth to her and Gary's son Zack in May, and she was happy for Eileen to act as a surrogate grandmother to the baby. Between this and the follow-up of Phelan's crimes being exposed, it seemed as though Nicola and Eileen would be able to move forward with their lives in peace. However, neither of the pair and nor the street they lived in were left aware that Phelan was alive. On the day after Zack's birth, Gary discovered Phelan's fate and sought revenge for what he did to his mother, kidnapping Phelan and keeping him captive at the yard. Unfortunately, Phelan escaped captivity, locked Gary and Sarah in the yard and stormed to No.11 with a gun, demanding to see his grandson. Nicola stood between them, provoking Phelan into pointing his gun at her. When Seb attempted to subdue Phelan, he fired his gun and Nicola was shot in the process.

2018: Pat visits Eileen and Nicola for the last time, with a gun

With Nicola bleeding from her wound, a panicked Phelan carried her to Viaduct Bistro where Michelle Connor and Robert Preston were about to get married. Phelan ordered Michelle's son Alex Neeson to treat Nicola, although he insisted that she would need to go to hospital. In order to make Alex cooperate, Phelan took Michelle hostage and dragged her into the kitchen. As Nicola was given medical treatment, Michelle tried to escape leading Phelan to shoot her. However, his reign of terror was brought to an end when Anna - recently released from prison - confronted Phelan and stabbed him in the heart with a knife, killing him and avenging the torment she suffered at his hands.

Nicola and Michelle were taken to hospital to receive treatment and managed to pull through. When Nicola found out Gary was responsible for bringing Phelan back to the street, she refused him access to their son. However, after a heart to heart with him at No.11, she changed her mind and agreed that he could see Zack.

Wanting to start over, Nicola made arrangements to move to Bristol as a friend of hers would help get her work there, and Eileen agreed to join Nicola and Zack for a fresh start. They left the street together in June 2018.

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Personality

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Background information

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First and last lines

"Patrick Phelan?" (First line)

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"We're all here for you." (Final line, to Seb Franklin)

Appendices

List of addresses

Address Duration
5 Viola Court August 2017 to 18th April 2018
11 Coronation Street 18th April 2018 to 13th June 2018
Bristol 13th June 2018 onwards

Employment history

Role Institution Duration
Social worker Unknown 2010s

See also

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