Dawn Prescott was taken on as a shop assistant at Weatherfield Security Systems in January 1989, when Alan Bradley first opened the shop. Dawn worked alongside Alan and Martin Platt and her responsibilities included managing the shop while Alan and Martin were on call-outs.
Dawn soon discovered she'd got involved in a messy situation. The money for Alan's business came from a mortgage he'd taken out on 7 Coronation Street under the name of Len Fairclough. So that Rita wouldn't see any letters from the building society addressed to her dead husband, Alan had all correspondence sent to the shop and asked Dawn not to come in until 9am - after he'd dealt with the post. Dawn caught a glimpse of letters addressed to Len Fairclough anyway, although she didn't let on to Alan.
A worse problem was that Alan was a womaniser and fancied his chances with Dawn, who was unattached. Dawn thought she could handle him and told him she wanted to keep their relationship professional when he asked to take her out. To get Dawn to go out with him, Alan made her responsible for doing the shop's books and took her out for a meal to talk her through it. Dawn felt uncomfortable at the meal and when Alan asked her to go away with him on a business trip to Preston, she refused. Once the shop was closed, Alan made a pass at Dawn and grabbed her when she tried to get away. Dawn realised he was going to rape her and elbowed him, managing to run off.
Dawn decided to face Alan but brought along her friend Lynne Nelson to the shop as a witness. Alan denied assault and told Dawn it was his word against hers. Dawn called him a bastard. She then turned up at The Kabin to tell Rita what had happened, but Rita thought she was trying to cause trouble as Alan had sacked her. Dawn told Rita to ask Alan about the letters for Len Fairclough. Dawn's revelation caused Rita to investigate Alan and learn about him defrauding her but while he was arrested and sentenced for his scam and for assaulting Rita (when Rita confronted him about it), Dawn didn't pursue her grievances with him further.
After this, Dawn got a job as an estate agent and in September she showed Mike Baldwin and Alma Sedgewick around a flat in Weatherfield Quays, the new dockland development. As Mike knew Rita, Dawn arranged to see Rita as she felt partly responsible for what Alan did to her and wanted to clear the air. Rita accepted her apology graciously.
Dawn then started going out with Mike and moved in with him at his new flat. She got involved in his business dealings with Maurice Jones, a property developer who wanted to buy the factory. Dawn found out Jones had bought the Community Centre too, putting Mike onto the fact that Jones was re-developing Coronation Street and he'd be able to sell the factory for more than it was worth.
In November, Dawn's brother Robert Prescott flew in from Spain. He got on well with Dawn but not with Mike, as Robert's property developments abroad made him feel small-time. To satisfy his ego, Mike flew to Spain to buy a petrol station in Alcazar that Robert was after as the land would soon increase in value, and then offered to sell it to Robert for £250,000 - £100,000 more than Mike had paid. Robert had the last laugh as Mike had bought the petrol station off him through an intermediary and it was worthless. Mike had put every penny he had into the deal and had a confrontation with Dawn, accusing her of being in league with Robert. Dawn got annoyed and left the flat and Mike.