Norman Leach was a petty criminal who attempted to blackmail Alf Roberts and assaulted Bet Lynch.

In 1973, shortly after becoming Mayor for the first time, Alf was involved in a minor road accident when he used a driveway to reverse and hit an old lady calling her cat in. Although the lady involved was unharmed her son Norman wrote to Alf demanding compensation, and then called on him saying that his mother had been badly bruised down one side, spraining her wrist and was in a state of shock. He did admit though that they hadn't seen a doctor, supposedly not wishing to bother busy people. Alf saw through his attempts at blackmail and when Leach demanded £200, he showed him the door, though Leach promised he hadn't heard the last of him.

Alf told Bet of this incident but admitted that he hadn't told Leach that she was in the car. Leach called again on Alf who this time wondered aloud what the police would say to his demands. Leach countered with the threat of going to the newspapers who would be very interested in the actions of the Mayor-elect. Alf offered Leach £25 but it was rejected and the requested £200 was given instead.

When Bet Lynch, who had been present in the car when the incident occurred, heard of this she confronted Leach and forced him to return the cheque. Bet had correctly assumed that Leach would have a criminal record and would suffer more from the police being involved than Alf.

Several months later Bet was mugged and her bag was stolen. The handbag was found, complete with the £25 Bet's pools syndicate had won, and a set of Norman's fingerprints. In order to help Bet, Alf decided to confess all to the police but was stopped from resigning from his position of Mayor when he learnt that Leach had, upon questioning, confessed all. Leach was sent to jail for seven years.

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