Peter Barlow is to feel the full force of the law in next week’s episodes when he’s charged with murdering barmaid Tina McIntyre. In scenes to be shown on Monday 14 July, the police will make their arrest after Tina’s missing charm bracelet is found outside No 1.
With the officers asking tough questions about how Peter’s prints happened to be on the jewellery and why traces of Tina’s blood are in the Barlows’ outhouse, the situation is looking bleak. Couple that with Peter’s family believing that he’s guilty and you can see why the boozy love cheat just might crack under the pressure. So what does the future hold for the beleaguered Barlow? Actor Chris Gascoyne tells us more…
Before the police swoop on the Street, is Peter worried that he’ll be arrested for Tina’s murder?
He’s almost been expecting it, although when it does happen he’s completely broken by it. His main concern has been to persuade both Carla and Simon that he’s innocent. But, as is usually the way with Peter, it all seems to be spiralling completely out of control.
Does he have any inkling that it’s Rob who’s guilty?
No, none whatsoever. Peter’s main concern is getting people to believe he’s innocent. He hasn’t got the strength of mind to think logically about who Tina’s murderer might actually be. Peter’s just so caught up in himself and getting Carla to believe that he’ sorry and that he loves her. Also, Rob seems so adamant that the killer is Peter – it doesn’t cross Peter’s mind that he might just be detracting the attention from himself.
Is he aware that Rob is trying his hardest to implicate Peter?
Peter and Rob have always hated one another, so it doesn’t come as a massive surprise to Peter that Rob is pointing the finger at him. Rob’s had it in for him since day one and even more so since he discovered the truth about Peter and Tina. Peter can see why people might think it was him – I guess the evidence is stacked against him.
Tell us what happens when Peter gets arrested – it’s a very public thing, isn’t it?
Peter’s coming out of the chippie and Rob accosts him again in the street, accusing him of murdering Tina and telling him to do everyone a favour and hand himself in. Peter tries to get Tracy to shut Rob up, but before they know it the police are approaching them. It happens really quickly – for a split second Peter thinks that they must just be there to split Rob and Peter up and question one of them again.
Then they home in on Peter and arrest him, just before Peter realises that Simon has seen the whole thing. Simon is crying out for his dad and it’s that which makes Peter crumble. He’s been trying so hard to make peace with Si and make him believe that he had nothing to do with Tina’s murder. It breaks Peter’s heart that Si has had to witness him being carted off by the police.
And how does Peter feel when the police tell him that they’re charging him with murder?
Peter can see why people think he has a motive, but he doesn’t stop protesting and maintains his innocence when he’s first arrested and charged. Peter gets to the stage where it seems that no matter how much he denies it, nobody will believe him anyway. Once he starts to think his own family, and Carla, believe that he could have done it, he starts to give up hope.
What’s his reaction when his solicitor tells him to strike some sort of plea bargain?
Peter hits the roof because he assumes this means that his solicitor doesn’t believe in him, so he sacks him there and then. Peter can see why people think he has a motive, but his solicitor suggesting he plead guilty pushes him over the edge. He feels like he’s losing every ounce of support.
And what’s the reaction of his family?
Deirdre and Tracy visit Peter in prison and are shocked to hear that he’s sacked his solicitor and can’t understand why. At that point, Peter realises they agreed with the solicitor about the plea bargain and obviously assumed he is guilty.
How does Peter cope with that?
Not very well. Without anyone behind him, he questions what he has to fight for. He’s really hurt by it. Peter also assumes his Dad is aware of what’s going on, but he hasn’t heard anything from him, so Peter assumes they’ve all given up on him.
Is Peter strong enough to survive in prison?
Peter would completely crumble in prison. He’s a weak man anyway and I don’t think he would have the fight left in him to prove his innocence. Without Carla behind him and believing in him, he would get to the point where he’d think that he might as well be in prison because he has nothing outside anyway.