|First appearance||25th February 2002|
|Number of appearances||1|
|Played by||James Mair|
DS Downing was the arresting office of Johnny James who pulled an armed robbery on a post office one day in February 2002 and then fled with the proceeds in a holdall. On a country road, he encountered Rita Sullivan, Emily Bishop, Blanche Hunt and Betty Williams who were on a day out to celebrate Rita's birthday. Blanche had insisted on navigating though she took them totally the wrong way. Stopping on a country road to gain their bearings, they encountered Johnny who span them a yarn that he had run out of petrol and needed to get to the hospital to see his mother who had just been rushed in. The women dragooned Rita into giving him a lift but she panicked when she saw the money bulging out of the holdall and started to skid across the road before coming to a stop. Realising the game was up, Johnny pulled the gun on them and insisted they got out of the car but Emily, her memory going back to Ernest Bishop's death, froze in the back seat and Johnny was about to drive off with her when Rita snatched the ignition key out of the lock. Johnny called her a "stupid cow" which caused Rita to see red. She hit Johnny repeatedly with the car door and then her bag, during which time the pursuing police caught up with him and he was arrested.
Downing told the women that they had been both brave and stupid at the same time and insisted that they be looked over by a doctor. Three of the women were fine but when Blanche started to complain that they might have ended up in body-bags, Emily fainted. As well as being seen by a doctor, the women spent two hours in the police station giving statements. In the excitement of events, Rita quite forgot that it was her birthday.