Emmerdale’s Ross Barton has a traumatic time in store next week when he’s caught stealing more drugs and prepares to face his attacker in court. Will justice be served, and is Ross about to make the connection that Debbie Dingle was responsible for the acid assault that inflicted life-changing scars?
The week begins with Rhona Goskirk finding troubled Ross ransacking the vets’ for drugs. Having previously offered sympathy due to her own history with addiction, Rhona is forced to play hard ball when Ross refuses to hand over the medication and runs off, so she tells boyfriend Pete about his little brother’s recent bout of self-destructive behaviour – including the inappropriate pass he made at her.
“Ross isn’t thinking straight, his head’s in the shed,” says Michael Parr, who plays the beleaguered Barton. “Rhona showed some interest in him and obviously his confidence is very low because of his appearance, and he misread a few signals as he’s not got the clearest vision because of all the things he’s had going on.
“He cares about Pete’s feelings and doesn’t want to lose one of the only family members he’s got left, but he’s in a pretty dark place and not thinking properly.”
For her part, Rhona brushes Ross’s moments of madness aside and pushes Pete to do the same and support his sibling as the attacker’s trial looms later in the week.
While Ross hopes for justice, Debbie panics assailant Simon McManus will be recognised as Holly Barton’s drug dealer and the trail could lead back to her planning the attack intended for Joe Tate – especially if her stepmum Moira goes to court, so she and dad Cain plot to keep her away. But will Ross twig he’s seen Simon somewhere before when they come face to face?
“When he sees Simon at the trial he recognises him, and it stars to make Ross question a lot of things he thought before,” teases Parr. As Simon takes the stand and Ross is forced to relive the attack, how is Mr Barton feeling about the verdict?
“Confident but nervous. They’ve got a witness that sounds reliable, but it’s not going to be straightforward. There’s no guarantees.” Unfortunately, the judge reveals the key witness in question has died, and Ross fears the case could fall apart. As a statement from the witness is read out, will it be enough to put Simon behind bars? “If Simon walks free, Ross would be gutted – but would he genuinely believe they got the wrong guy?”
Unbeknown to Ross, Moira does in fact discover Debbie’s link to Simon and the fact she is to blame for Ross’s ordeal, but will she keep quiet? And how would Ross feel if he knew the truth?
“It would be treachery of the highest order,” sighs Parr. “Debbie has been his closest companion and the only person he’s really loved other than Donna. If he found out what she’d done it would heartbreaking for him.”
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