In 1988, Sandra and Jason fled to Weatherfield to escape from Sandra's abusive husband Ronnie. Jason missed his dad but was loyal to Sandra, having tried to defend Sandra from his violence on at least one occasion. In November 1986, when it was feared that Ronnie was a danger to Jason, a social worker visited the Stubbs but found no cause to remove Jason from his parents.
Sandra and Jason soon settled into their new lives; Sandra rented Flat 3, 44 Rosamund Street, got a job at the Rovers and settled Jason into a new school. Having had a paper round before moving, Jason asked at The Kabin if they needed anyone. They didn't, but the polite lad made an impression on Mavis Riley, who two days later decided to sack unreliable Wayne Pickles and give Jason his round. On his first day in the job, Jason was beaten up by Wayne for "stealing" the round, Wayne having guarded the round to see who had taken it over. Jason was intimidated enough to cover for Wayne, telling Rita Fairclough and Mavis that he'd tripped over his bag strap, but the next time Wayne cornered him he fought back and knocked his bike over. The matter was resolved when Sandra got the truth from Jason and threatened Wayne's mum in The Kabin.
A few weeks later, Ronnie re-appeared on the scene, having tracked Sandra and Jason down. Adamant that there was no way back for her and Ronnie, Sandra refused to acknowledge him, and so he turned to Jason, turning up at his school at lunchtime as a surprise. Although glad to see his dad, Jason refused to divulge their new home address, and fortunately Sandra arrived on the scene before Ronnie could interrogate him further. Ronnie remained in the area until he was due to return to the ships, working on Sandra and her friends to persuade her to give their marriage another try. The night before he was due to leave, a drunken Ronnie followed Sandra home, where he pleaded with her one last time. Met with unwavering defiance, Ronnie became violent, breaking a promise he'd made seconds before. Jason raced to the Rovers to get help, however by the time Ken Barlow, Kevin Webster and Alan Bradley arrived at the flat, Ronnie had fled the scene, leaving Sandra bruised and beaten. Upset to see his mother so vulnerable, Jason was taken in by Bet Gilroy at the Rovers for the night while Sandra was kept in hospital.
In November, Jason admitted to Mavis that the paperboys were joking about Derek Wilton not showing up at their wedding. The lads were well aware of Mavis and Derek's disastrous first wedding, in which they'd jilted each other. Also that month, Jason told Rita that he wasn't looking forward to an upcoming parent/teacher evening at school, as he hadn't been doing the work.
In 1989, Jason fell in with the wrong crowd and on one afternoon in February, while Sandra was at work, Ken Barlow caught Jason and his mates having a booze-up in the flat, drinking lager from cans purchased at the Corner Shop. The boys ran off at the sight of Ken, who had called at the flat to offer Jason a paper round with the Weatherfield Recorder. After helping Jason tidy the living room, Ken advised the boy to choose his friends better. The incident would remained a problem for Sandra and Jason to sort themselves, but for Jason's friends being caught by the police vandalising a car, and giving them Jason's address. Discovering both that Jason had been drinking and that he was routinely left on his own, WPC Morgan contacted Social Services, and a social worker, Mrs Lambert, was assigned the case. Sandra was informed that it was illegal for her to leave Jason on his own while she worked, and that something would have to change. With immediate effect, Sandra quit her job and moved out of the flat and in with her mother temporarily, uprooting the family once again.