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Nicola Rubinstein was the daughter of Annabel Rubinstein and Pat Phelan, and mother to Zack Rubinstein.

First visiting the street in June 2017, after being made Seb Franklin's caseworker once he was released from young offenders, Nicola attempted to find him work at Pat Phelan's Builder's Yard. Initially Phelan was uninterested, but when he began to notice similarities between Nicola and her mother - who he'd engaged in an affair with years prior - he agreed to take Seb on. As time went on, Phelan attempted to get to know Nicola further and she was left horrified to discover that he'd been researching her. When Phelan explained the situation, Nicola refused to believe him and stated firmly that Isaac Rubinstein had been her true father. Eileen, Phelan's wife, spoke to Nicola and persuaded her to go through with a DNA test - which revealed that he was in fact her father - the revelation left Nicola in a poor state of mind and she later had a one-night stand with Gary Windass behind his girlfriend Sarah Platt's back.

Her fling with Gary left Nicola pregnant, and she began to become close to Pat and Eileen when she realised that Gary wanted no part in the child's upbringing. However, Gary's mother Anna Windass feared for her grandchild growing up alongside Phelan and confessed to Nicola that he had raped her. When a friend of her mother's Lydia Hartman revealed that Phelan had also raped her mother, Nicola cut all ties with her newfound father and fled Weatherfield. When Gary was believed to have died in Ukraine, Nicola was devastated and the secret about her pregnancy was exposed.

Throughout 2019 more of Phelan's crimes came to light when Seb realised that he had murdered Luke Britton, and Nicola returned to live in his house in order to uncover the truth. Eventually, Gary and Seb uncovered two more of Phelan's victims; Harvey McArdle and Andy Carver, and he faked his own death after being knocked off a cliff by Eileen. Although, he returned in May 2018 planning to abduct Nicola's son - whom she had birthed the same month. Phelan was eventually stopped by Anna, who stabbed him with a knife while he attempted to seek help for Nicola - whom he had shot. Due to recent events, Nicola moved to Bristol.

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 Annabel claimed had raped her. Isaac had remained with his wife, believing her rape allegation rather than Pat's claims that the pair had been having an affair, but the couple refused to go to the police in order to prevent Nicola from ever knowing that she was the result of rape.

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 - the ex-boyfriend of his current girlfriend, Faye Windass. As it came close to Seb's release date in June 2017, Nicola turned up at 11 Coronation Street in order to ask Pat Phelan to take Seb on as an apprentice to keep him occupied and out of trouble. During the meeting, Phelan noticed similarities between Nicola and her mother, Annabel.

Instantly taking an interest in Nicola, believing that there was a possibility that she was his daughter, Phelan began changing himself to impress her, at one point even wearing a tie. However, his efforts led to mocking from Seb and, in a fit of rage, Phelan grabbed him and pinned him against the wall - this was witnessed by a horrified Nicola, who reminded him that he must be more patient with a troubled teenager like Seb.

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 the builder and that she would be happy for Seb to continue working with him.

Pat and Nicola Liverpool

Pat takes Nicola and Seb to Livepool to impress her.

Gathering further information about her, Phelan became obsessed with the possibility that Nicola was his daughter - but when she found out about his research, she reacted badly believing that he was stalking her. With Nicola threatening to report him, Phelan was forced to reveal that he had known her parents - he asked to meet them, telling Nicola that they would prove that he had no bad intentions. Nicola agreed to reintroduce Pat to her parents - however, she took him instead to the lake at Greenfield Park where a bench engraved with a plaque had been dedicated to their memory following their deaths.

With Nicola still threatening to report him if he didn't give her answers, Phelan was forced to reveal that he may be her father. Nicola was unhappy to discover that her mother had ended the affair nine months before she was born and told Phelan that she'd rather not know whether or not he was her real father.

Pat's wife, Eileen, could see how much Nicola was affecting her husband - and decided to interfere by showing her a picture of Phelan dancing with Annabel. Annoyed by the thought of their affair, Nicola told Eileen to leave her alone and that if she or Phelan contacted her again, she would phone the police. After discovering about Phelan and Nicola, Seb decided to try and get his case manager to talk to his boss again. Seb did this by telling Nicola that he had lost his job because Phelan was dying. Although she found out Seb was lying, 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 and Phelan DNA test

Nicola learns that Phelan is her real father.

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 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, she was left alone with Anna after her daughter Faye and Seb's mother Abi had gone home. The pair formed a friendly conversation when Anna explained how she grew to become Faye's mother, and Nicola confided to her about her pregnancy - though she didn't reveal Gary as the father. It was then that Anna revealed to Nicola why she hated Phelan so much: In 2014, Phelan forged a business partnership with Anna's previous boyfriend and Gary's old boss Owen Armstrong, whom he ended up blackmailing along with Gary. When Anna had requested Phelan to leave the pair alone, he blackmailed her into sleeping with him in exchange for agreeing to her bargain - which Anna did.

Once Anna confirmed this to Nicola, she decided to visit her mother's next-door neighbour Lydia Hartman to learn more about her father. During their last encounter, Nicola noticed that Lydia was visibly horrified after recognising Phelan from one of her photos. Between Lydia's reaction and Anna's theory on her father, Nicola realised that Phelan may not be the man she expected him to be. Upon visiting Lydia at her house, Nicola learned of the night she last saw Phelan: nine months before Nicola was born, Lydia had witnessed Phelan "scrapping" with Annabel's lover Isaac - whom she described had "come off worse", which implied that Phelan had been beating him up. Though she never saw Phelan again afterwards, Lydia discovered the reason why he and Isaac fought when Annabel came to visit her with a revelation. When Nicola questioned Lydia about this, Lydia revealed that Phelan never had a one-night stand and nor did he have an affair with Annabel - he had, in fact, "forced himself" onto her. With this revelation, Nicola concluded that Phelan had raped her mother - which Lydia then confirmed.

Shortly afterwards, Nicola called Phelan and demanded that he meet her at her late parents' park bench. When he arrived, she accused him of raping her mother. Phelan insisted that he loved her mother, proclaiming that he loved Annabel more than ever did for Eileen. As their conversation descends into an argument, Nicola questioned him over Anna's theory. This enraged Phelan, who described Anna as a "malicious bitch" and told Nicola that she hated him. Nicola then asked him about Lydia, whom Phelan had previously claimed to have never known, and the fact that she and Anna - who never even knew each other - had the same theory about him. While Phelan claimed that Lydia hated him as well, he accidentally confirmed Nicola's suspicions by stating that Lydia "would say anything" - which prompted Nicola to tell him that Lydia never told her mother about what he did, it was in fact the other way round. Nicola, now aware of what Phelan did to her mother and that Anna was telling the truth about him all along, started to leave - all the while Phelan chased her to defend his actions. As he tried unsuccessfully to assuage her suspicions about her mother, Nicola scolded him for blackmailing Anna into sleeping with him and insisted that the result of this was rape. 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.

Nicola later planned to tell Eileen the truth about her father, but Anna stopped her - explaining that she had already tried to warn Eileen about her husband to no avail. Anna then suggested to Nicola that she leave Weatherfield in order to avoid Phelan at all costs. Nicola agreed and left the street, much to Phelan's fury. Gary later visited Nicola. He told her that Phelan could be watching her at any time. He agreed to help her flee the country, and that he would send money to help with the child. When Gary was pronounced dead in the Ukraine, Phelan called on Nicola and told her the news. Nicola harshly blamed Pat for his death and rejected him. Gary's old nemesis David Platt later called on Nicola and forced 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 - going as far as to defend him when Gary confronted him over his mother's imprisonment. Later on, Gary soon learned that Nicola was actually feigning her reunion with Phelan when she took him to her flat - where he was surprised to see Seb there. Nicola explained that she has been harbouring Seb there ever since Anna was imprisoned, at which point he told her that Phelan had framed Anna for his ladder accident. It was then that Nicola also learned from Seb that her father had recently killed one of the street's local residents, Luke Britton, and that the reason why Seb was staying at her place was because he was scared that Phelan would hunt him down; Nicola realised that Seb was telling the truth upon seeing the "fear in his eyes". Gary and Nicola later agreed to work together to take Phelan down. However, Phelan discovered her deception and subsequently disowned her - stating that she betrayed 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 that Phelan was presumed dead after it was alleged that he fell into the sea following a stand-off with Eileen, on the night she finally discovered the truth about her husband. Nicola was shocked to discover that Phelan had not only killed Luke, but was also the perpetrator in the Calcutta Street flats scam project; the death of Eileen's former boyfriend Michael Rodwell; and the abduction of Michael's surrogate son Andy Carver, whom Phelan had murdered after forcing him to kill his ex-business partner Vinny Ashford. 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 2018, 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, Phelan returned to the street when Gary discovered his fate and sought revenge for what he did to his mother - which led to Gary kidnapping Phelan and keeping him captive at the yard. Unfortunately, Phelan escaped when Gary's girlfriend and David's sister Sarah later discovered this - and her argument with Gary over getting the police involved allowed him to escape. After failing to coerce the couple in bringing Nicola and her baby to him, Phelan locked the pair in the yard and he stormed to No.11 with a gun - where Nicola was surprised to see her father was alive. Phelan demanded to see his grandson, but Nicola stood between them - refusing to let Phelan go near him, which provoked him into pointing his gun at her. When Seb attempted to subdue Phelan, he fired his gun and Nicola was shot in the process.

Nicola and Pat shooting

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 - though not before he apologised to Nicola for everything he put her through and kissed her goodbye. As Nicola was given medical treatment, Phelan shot Michelle when she tried to escape. However, his reign of terror was brought to an end when Anna - who was 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.

First and last lines

"Patrick Phelan?" (First line)

Appendices

(To be completed)

List of addreses

Address Duration
BristolJune 2018 to present


Employment history

Role Institution Duration
Social workerUnknown to present

See also

Current characters
Ken Barlow | Rita Tanner | Peter Barlow | Gail Rodwell | Tracy McDonald | Audrey Roberts | Nick Tilsley | Kevin Webster | Jenny Connor | Sally Metcalfe | Sarah Barlow | Liz McDonald | Steve McDonald | David Platt | Norris Cole | Sophie Webster | Daniel Osbourne | Roy Cropper | Leanne Battersby | Toyah Battersby | Tyrone Dobbs | Dev Alahan | Eileen Grimshaw | Maria Connor | Kirk Sutherland | Adam Barlow | Fiz Stape | Simon Barlow | Sean Tully | Chesney Brown | Amy Barlow | Aadi Alahan | Asha Alahan | Ryan Connor | Carla Connor | Gary Windass | Mary Taylor | Liam Connor | Claudia Colby | Brian Packham | Izzy Armstrong | Max Turner | Jack Webster | Hope Stape | Faye Windass | Beth Sutherland | Craig Tinker | Joseph Brown | Ruby Dobbs | Tim Metcalfe | Jake Windass | Lily Platt | Alya Nazir | Yasmeen Metcalfe | Gemma Winter | Billy Mayhew | Cathy Matthews | Alex Warner | Johnny Connor | Harry Platt | Seb Franklin | Shona Platt | Oliver Battersby | Summer Spellman | Moira Pollock | Abi Franklin | Imran Habeeb | Geoff Metcalfe | Emma Brooker | Paul Foreman | Paula Martin | Evelyn Plummer | Bertie Osbourne | James Bailey | Ed Bailey | Michael Bailey | Aggie Bailey | Bernie Winter | Aled Winter-Brown | Bryn Winter-Brown | Carys Winter-Brown | Llio Winter-Brown | Nina Lucas
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