Franny Slater was a local villain who robbed Benny Lewis's luxury flat in October 1972 and stole £5,000 from the affluent bookie. Franny hatched the plan when he learned that his friend Sharon Duffy, barmaid at The Flying Horse, could get access to a key to the flat as her boyfriend Ray Langton was entertaining her at the flat, pretending the "penthouse" was his to impress her when Fairclough and Langton was doing work there. Sharon had swallowed Ray's lies and was bragging about it to Franny when, incredulous at her gullibility, Franny put her straight and persuaded her to borrow the key so that he could make a copy.
The robbery was carried out a few days later, with Franny donning black gloves and letting himself in using the copied key. Under orders from Franny, Sharon had scouted out the alarm system during a date with Ray, and to make it look like a break in, Franny smashed the side door window and trashed the place. Having seen local loser Jacko Ford, released from Strangeways Jail in June, back in the area, Franny decided he'd be a suitable candidate to frame for the robbery and got Freddie Slack to drive him away from Weatherfield so he wouldn't have an alibi. After stealing the £5,000, the three split the money and Franny and Sharon absconded to London.
Investigating independent of the police, Ken Barlow was the first to suspect Sharon's involvement after learning about her getting access to the key, but nothing was proved and Jacko was held on remand until January 1973 when Freddie broke down under police questioning and told Det. Chief Insp. Patterson the full plan. Jacko was released, and the police started hunting for Franny and Sharon.