PC Thorne, together with his colleague PC Hatford, was called to Coronation Street in April 2003 when Kevin Webster became concerned about two men who had earlier called at his house asking Sally which their "old friends" Tommy and Angela lived in. Kevin was one of very few people who knew that the "Nelson" family in No. 6 were in fact the Harris family who had moved from Sheffield on a witness protection programme after Angela had given evidence at the trial of Tom Morgan for murder in the pub where she worked as a barmaid.

Tom's brothers, Andy and Nick had traced the family to Weatherfield and were currently holding Katy Harris hostage at gunpoint, awaiting the return home of her parents and brother Craig. Unable to raise anyone at their house, Kevin rang for the police who were outside when the other Harris members returned. After being appraised of the situation, PC Hatford called for back-up to an unconfirmed hostage situation. At that moment, Katy screamed out in fear and Tommy charged through the two police and into the house where a gunshot rang out. He was wounded in the arm and Nick pointed the gun at Hatford while he and his brother ran out the back. Nick was disarmed and apprehended while Andy got away, only to be caught a couple of days later.

PC Thorne later called back at the Websters' for a witness statement where he found an unhappy Sally unfairly berating Kevin for not letting her in on the Nelson family's secret.

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