She was the best friend of Geoff's first wife Philippa but this did not prevent her having an affair with him following their marriage in 1971. Geoff was a controlling and mentally abusive husband and Philippa fled the marriage in late 1973 when Tim was still a year old. To her horror her former best friend Tess was on Geoff’s side. He quickly married Tess (when Tim was two years old) in late 1974, soon after his divorce from Philippa, who had now changed her name to Elaine Jones. Moving to Marloes Sands, Wales, the newlyweds told Tim and everybody else that Tess was his natural mother.
Geoff and Tess’s marriage was not a happy one and they eventually separated, probably due to Geoff’s infidelities, of which Tim was aware. Tess left home and there was a period of time where Tim was left alone with Geoff and as a result they grew particularly close. When Tim walked out on his partner Jenny and daughter Faye in 2004, Tess was heartbroken and died soon after.