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|First appearance||13th November 2002|
|Number of appearances||1|
|Played by||James Mair|
In late 2002, Richard Hillman, up to his eyes in debt and his business interests failing, concocted a plan to convince everyone that mother-in-law Audrey Roberts was entering senility and then kill her in a fire in her house which would be put down to an accidental death and her estate would be paid to daughter Gail. When Audrey started to receive medical opinion that there was nothing wrong with her mentally, Richard had to bring his plan forward. Spiking her drinks with extra gin, she was taken home in a taxi by Steve McDonald. Richard followed and began the fire with a pan on the hob while Audrey slept soundly in bed. However when Steve discovered she had left her glasses behind in her cab, Archie Shuttleworth tried to raise her by phone and, unable to do so, the two men went back to her house where the fire was spotted and the emergency services were called while Steve pulled Audrey from the inferno. She was taken to the hospital with little harm done to her.
The next day Fire Investigator Ian Swan was shown round the damaged house by Richard. Mr Swan commented that in his own house he wouldn't allow a chip pan, nor cards left on the mantlepiece and all electrical equipment was unplugged every night. He found no battery in smoke alarm but told a relieved Richard that there were no suspicious circumstances and every day he saw cases where "old dears" went to bed and left pans cooking.