Emmerdale is starting to pave the way for Ryan Hawley’s upcoming exit as his alter ego Robert Sugden was told on Thursday 8th August he could be jailed for life following his brutal attack on rapist Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie), the man who sexually assaulted Rob’s sister Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) who is now pregnant with his baby.
A meeting with his and husband Aaron Dingle’s (Danny Miller) potential surrogate Natalie was rudely interrupted by the police arriving to arrest Rob: Lee had woken up from his coma and was claiming the beating he took was completely unprovoked.
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Down at the station a stunned Mr Sugden was told the case against him was now much more serious and he was looking at a potential charge of GBH with intent – which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment…
Faced with a mountain of evidence that Robert had orchestrated an intimidation campaign against his sibling’s abuser, including stalking him at his home, turning up at the car dealership he works at and attempting to set him up via a honey trap with the help of Dawn Taylor, it became harder to defend his position, despite insisting Lee provoked him into the recent attack – which the poisonous Posner is now denying.
Combined with the harassment campaign, the fact Vic’s case has been dismissed by the CPS and it’s Lee’s word against his, Rob realised things were not looking good.
When does Robert Sugden leave Emmerdale?
Released without charge, for now, Rob panicked about what he’d tell Aaron as they’re meant to be starting a family – and in true slippery Sugden style he lied through his teeth there was a possible straightforward GBH charge and the vague possibility of a few months behind bars, if that.
Thrilled Aaron started talking about getting a new surrogate (Nat unsurprisingly pulled out when the cops turned up) while Robert buried his head in the sand and viewers wondered how long he could hide the truth.
Hawley’s exit after five years in the role was recently confirmed to RadioTimes.com by Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw who told us: “Ryan is leaving the show – it’s been a fantastic five years and we will miss him dearly. There is some time left with him on screen, but in time, it does mean that our beloved ‘Robron’ are going to be parted.
“You’ve seen in the past what happens to Aaron when he unravels, so when he’s parted from Robert, it’s going to be explosive.”
Will Rob keep up the pretence until a trial sends him down forever, causing Aaron to spiral as he kept such vital information from him until it was too late, robbing him the chance of saying goodbye properly? Or is this a red herring and there’s a completely different exit planned – maybe Rob goes on the run…?
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