Who is Emmerdale’s Pierce Harris? All you need to know about Graham Foster’s killer

Rhona's abusive ex returns with murder in mind

emmerdale reveal

Evil Pierce Harris (Jonathan Wrather) has made a surprise return to Emmerdale and been identified as Graham Foster’s killer, with the creepy character’s comeback kept quiet ahead of the shock reveal on Thursday 23rd January.

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It’s been three years since he was jailed for raping ex-wife Rhona Goskirk, who was set to flee the village with gruesome Graham, and Pierce’s appearance was a huge twist during Emmerdale’s big whodunnit week, in which the same day – ending in Graham’s demise – was told from several different perspectives.

It’s been a little while since the horrid Harris was on screen, so here’s a reminder of his hideous history…

When did Pierce Harris arrive in Emmerdale?

emmerdale pierce harris

The good-looking lawyer was introduced in January 2016 as the husband of Tess Harris, cheating Paddy Kirk’s bit on the side while he was married to Rhona. Tess died in a car crash and Pierce had no idea she’d been having an affair until after her demise, which brought him into Rhona’s orbit. Having been cheated on by their respective partners, the betrayed couple found solace in each other and started a relationship once Rhona dumped Paddy.

What was his biggest storyline?

emmerdale pierce harris

Pierce’s treatment of Rhona slowly became more controlling and coercive, until he forced her into having sex without her consent. Confused and manipulated by Pierce, Rhona agreed to marry her increasingly insecure partner in April 2017. When she admitted to sharing a drunken inconsequential kiss with Paddy not long before the nuptials, raging Pierce raped his new wife on their wedding night.

The heinous Mr Harris pushed the blame on to Rhona, chipping away at her self-esteem and making her think she was overreacting. Pierce’s mother Martha came to the village and revealed her son had been traumatised and twisted by the death of his father at a young age, which had left him with psychological scars and deep-rooted anger issues.

Brave Rhona eventually reported the crime and managed to free herself from poisonous Pierce’s gruesome grip and the case went to trial.

When was Pierce last on screen?

Despite trying to undermine Rhona on the stand, and convince the jury she had lied about the rape, Pierce was stunned as he was sentenced to five years behind bars in July 2017.

Rhona visited him in prison a few weeks after the verdict and rejected his attempt at an apology, finally gaining a sense of closure at being free of her abusive hubby at long last.

In December 2019 word reached worried Rhona that Pierce was eligible for parole, and the next thing you know he’s standing over the dead body of his ex’s current squeeze Graham Foster…

What else has actor Jonathan Wrather been in?

coronation street joe carter

Prior to joining Emmerdale, Wrather was best known for his stint in Coronation Street playing former factory boss Joe Carter from 2002-2003, one-time love interest of Suranne Jones’s Karen McDonald (him and Jones were briefly a couple in real life). Wrather also had regular roles in now-defunct soaps Family Affairs and Crossroads (the 21st century revival) and has made guest appearances in numerous TV hits including Holby City, Doctors, Casualty, Silent Witness, Waterloo Road and The Bill.

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