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John Lane

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John lane
John Lane
First appearance 19th January 1976
Last appearance 21st January 1976
Number of appearances 2
Played by Ian Hastings

John Lane was a disturbed man who stalked Gail Potter in 1976.

Over the course of two days, Lane made several phone calls to the Corner Shop flat, all from phone boxes. In his first few calls, he was silent, causing Gail to think nothing of it, but after hearing breathing in the background of one call she became frightened. On the advice of Ernest and Emily Bishop, she alerted the Exchange, however no immediate action was taken and Gail was left alone for the evening when her flatmate Tricia Hopkins went out on a date with Philip Harper.

Aware that the Exchange was intercepting his calls, Lane called at the shop flat in person, pretending to be from the GPO, and was allowed inside by Gail, who swallowed his cover story that he was there to listen in on the next call and trace it. Lane was very softly-spoken and nervous, but Gail didn't smell a rat until they had a discussion about the stalker's possible motives. Gail opined that he must be sick in the head, causing Lane to suggest that he was lonely, which "eats away at your guts like acid", and tell her about his tyrant of a mother who blamed his dad for giving her a child. Gail's concern rose as the evening wore on and, although the likelihood of the stalker calling fell, Lane refused to leave, promising to stay all night if necessary. She was comforted somewhat when a concerned Ernest Bishop paid a brief visit and also believed Lane's story, but afterwards Lane became stranger, locking the door and telling her to go to bed.

Eventually a call did come through - from Emily, who he got rid of by saying it was a wrong number and then leaving the phone off the hook. Terrified, Gail kept her distance from Lane until a short time later when P.C. Hedley, who had been called by Emily, arrived and arrested him. Biting his thumb anxiously as the police entered, Lane quietly asked Gail to tell them he'd done nothing.

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