Chris Melton was a crooked Weatherfield councillor who accepted a fully paid-for holiday in Spain with Richard and Gail Hillman. This was done as Chris was on the planning committee and Richard was hoping to influence him to reject an application for a Bail Hostel next to The Ridings flat development whose potential values had depreciated alarmingly upon news of the hostel leaking out.
Gail had no idea of the bribe as Richard had told her that the Meltons had invited them to stay at their villa and it led to some confused conversations when the Hillmans met Chris and his wife Toni in the Rovers a couple of days before their departure. Toni soon realised that her husband was involved in another scheme to take knock-backs but kept her mouth shut…until they returned from the vacation when she let slip to Gail that they had been the ones paying for the trip all along. As Gail had recently had to remortgage No.8 to tide Richard over, she was livid with him but he justified his actions as a business need.
A week later, Richard was equally as angry to find out from Chris that the hostel was probably still going ahead as it had had to be referred to the Home Office who were unlikely to oppose the application. He accused Chris of knowing this when he had accepted the holiday offer. His anger hadn't diminished by the following February when he read in the Gazette that Chris had been accused of taking other bribes.
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