Ronnie Lawson was the eldest son of Betty Lawson and brother of Clifford, who together made up a family of squatters who were found inside a vacant 3 Coronation Street by Ena Sharples and Jerry Booth in June 1967.
The Lawsons had been originally evicted from their home for not paying their rent in mid-1966, after which the boys' father cleared off. Betty, Ronnie and Clifford ended up living in a basement off Rochdale Road for 25 bob a week, with Betty taking whatever casual work she could get and keeping the boys off school to avoid the risk of the council putting them in care. When that sum proved too much for Betty, the family were again thrown out and, finding No.3 empty, they installed themselves there.
Ronnie was a cheeky lad who was protective of his mother, helping her to conceal their presence from the neighbours. When venturing out to the Corner Shop for a loaf of bread and a tin of beans, Ronnie was asked where he lived by Irma Barlow, who was shocked by his scruffy appearance, but he only told her "with me mam" in response. When they were found by Ena and Jerry who had let themselves into the house with landlord Alfred Wormold's permission, Ronnie became angry and defensive, telling the pair that it was their house. After getting the whole story from Betty, Ena voiced her disapproval of the boys being kept off school, to which Betty replied that Ronnie was bright enough. However, Ena was right to worry as was quickly proved when the lads failed to recognise her reference to the nursery rhyme Georgie Porgie.
Their cover blown, the Lawsons spent a few days going about Coronation Street more openly. Some of the residents took pity on them, while others believed that they were a job for the welfare. One of their biggest detractors was Hilda Ogden, who upon catching Ronnie carving into a new bench with a knife told him to clear off. Hilda grew to suspect that Ronnie was also behind Minnie Caldwell's window box being vandalised several days prior. Later, Ronnie tried to cadge a cigarette from Stan Ogden but although he tried to gain the man's sympathy by complaining about sleeping on a floor and telling him that he wanted to become a brickie when he was older, Stan refused his request.
The Lawsons were moved on by the council after being reported by Len Fairclough. Ronnie and Clifford were then taken into care.