Deborah "Debbie" Dingle (previously Jones) is the only daughter of Charity and Cain Dingle, though she first arrived in the village as a foster child of Paddy and Emily Kirk. She is also the mother of Sarah and Jack Sugden and the half-sister of Ryan, Nate, Noah, Kyle, Moses, Isaac and Johnny.
Smart and sexy, Debbie could have any man she wanted. Although, life for Debbie hasn't been easy. Born to 13-year-old Charity Dingle and Charity's 14-year-old cousin Cain, she was given up for adoption to alcoholic Pat Jones. She arrived in the village in 2002 as the temporary foster child of Paddy and Emily Kirk, after Pat was admitted to hospital. Debbie was upset when she discovered Pat had died but soon found she had family in the village.
Originally, mother Charity was living the high life with her husband Chris, but when she discovered Debbie had arrived in the village, she kept it secret from Chris as it would ruin their marriage. Debbie went to Cain (neither of them knowing who Debbie's father was) with a photo of her birth-mother and was shocked to discover it was a photo of Charity. Charity eventually accepted her daughter's presence and Debbie, Chris and Charity were about to become a family - until Charity reveals Cain was Debbie's father. Chris was initially unnerved, but when Cain decides he wanted to be a part of Debbie's life, Chris felt pushed out. Charity and Cain begin an affair, which results in Charity being thrown out when Chris finds out. Chris soon discovers he has an inoperable brain tumour and decides to commit suicide and frame Charity for murder. Debbie is upset when this works and Charity is sentenced to life imprisonment. While in custody she gives birth to Debbie's half-brother Noah with whom Debbie quickly forms a bond.
At the age of only 15, Debbie gave birth to her first child, Sarah after a brief relationship with Andy Sugden. A few years later she would learn Sarah suffers from a blood disorder, Fanconi Anaemia, which would later result in her and Andy's second child, Jack, a saviour sibling for Sarah. Debbie was later famous for her relationship with Cameron Murray which ended in The Woolpack Siege, a relationship and later marriage to Pete Barton and her affair with his brother Ross, which ended with her leaving the village. Following her return she entered a turbulent relationship with Tom Waterhouse, later revealed as Joe Tate, ending in Joe fleeing the village on their wedding day and Debbie being charged for accidentally having Ross as the victim of an acid attack.
After Debbie inherited a garage in Stirling, Scotland she considered moving there with Jack and Sarah. However, Sarah wanted to stay but encouraged her mother to go anyway to make her happy. Thus, after a few tearful goodbyes, the pair drove off towards a new life in Scotland. She returned to the village late the following year, having pursued an affair with Al Chapman.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 1989-2001: Birth and early life
- 1.2 2002-2004: Arrival in Emmerdale and finding her birth parents
- 1.3 2004-2005: Romantic relationships and pregnancy
- 1.4 2006-2010: Feud with Cain and relationship with Jasmine Thomas
- 1.5 2011-2013: Sarah's illness and dangerous relationship with Cameron Murray
- 1.6 2013: Cameron's murder revelation and The Woolpack Siege
- 1.7 2014-2016: Relationships with Pete and Ross Barton and departure
- 1.8 2017-2019: Return and relationship with Joe Tate
- 1.9 2019: Move to Scotland
- 1.10 2020: Return to Emmerdale
- 2 Background information
- 3 Quotes
- 4 See Also
1989-2001: Birth and early life
Debbie was born on 26th October 1989 to 13-year-old Charity Dingle after a fling with her 14-year-old second cousin Cain Dingle. When Charity's father Obadiah Dingle discovered that Charity was pregnant he kept her apart from Cain, causing him to remain unaware of his daughter's existence until many years later. After Debbie was born Obadiah forced Charity to give Debbie up and took her to his alcoholic family friend Pat Jones, who registered her as her own child.
2002-2004: Arrival in Emmerdale and finding her birth parents
Debbie arrived in the village in December 2002, at the age of 13 as a new foster child for Paddy and Emily Kirk after her adoptive mother Pat Jones fell ill. Debbie soon returned to Pat but after Pat died Debbie went back to live with Paddy and Emily. Debbie soon befriended the Dingle family and in late January 2003, when Debbie showed Cain Dingle a photo of her biological mother, he recognises her as Charity Tate. Cain confronted Charity who was shocked to realise that Debbie was her daughter. She tried to hide it from her husband Chris but when the truth eventually came out she lied and still insisted that Debbie was not her daughter. Eventually, Charity was forced to admit to Chris that Debbie was her daughter. They eventually met but Charity was a reluctant mother and tried to further herself from her daughter. They eventually bond and Debbie grew close to her step-father, Chris, pleasing Charity. Debbie then moved in with Charity and Chris and Chris suggests they adopt Debbie.
In May 2003, Charity reveals that her cousin Cain is Debbie's father and the trio's closeness strengthens and Chris is sidelined. This affects him extremely, resulting in him cancelling plans to adopt Debbie and start to become jealous and aggressive towards Debbie as the new-found family grows closer. Cain bonds with Debbie and she moves into the Dingle household after becoming sick of Chris' anger towards her. Charity and Cain begin an affair much to Debbie's delight who wants her mother to leave Chris for Cain, but she refuses. However, Chris finds out and chucks Charity out, vowing for revenge. He soon realises he has a brain tumour and commits suicide in September 2003, framing Charity for his murder. After Chris' death; Debbie, Charity and Cain move into Pear Tree Cottage and live as a family until Charity is found guilty of Chris' murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Charity later discovers she is pregnant and gives birth to a son while in prison, who she names Noah in March 2004. Debbie starts to bond with her baby brother and is upset when Charity reveals she wants to give him up for adoption. She is then furious when Charity strikes a deal with Chris' sister Zoe Tate - she will give her custody of Noah for £20,000 and the evidence that Chris committed suicide. Zoe agrees and Charity is released. Debbie is deeply upset with her mum and refuses to forgive her actions. Charity tries to win her daughters affection with the money but Debbie refuses and tries to burn the money. Zoe banned both Charity and Debbie from seeing Noah, who she called Christopher, but despite her wishes, Debbie attended his christening invited. Zoe relented and admitted that Debbie should be a part of her brother's life.
In July 2004, Zoe's adoption application is turned down and Noah is returned to Charity. In August, Debbie is overjoyed to see Charity with her brother at the Dingles'. Cain and Charity reconcile and the trio lives together. However, Charity becomes bored with Cain and dumps him, setting her sights on millionaire Tom King.
2004-2005: Romantic relationships and pregnancy
Debbie and Cain then move into the Dingle household. When the house becomes over-crowded, she and Cain move in with Andy Sugden and his younger brother Daz Eden. Debbie's behaviour becomes erratic as she shows an interest in glamour and boys, resulting in her capturing Daz's affections. Debbie, though, prefers Andy and local curate, Ethan Blake, however, he is engaged to Niamh O'Connor. Andy confesses his romantic crush and they start a secret relationship. On 14th September 2004, Debbie loses her virginity to Andy. Daz and Charity discover the relationship and attempt to hide the relationship from Cain. Cain becomes suspicious when he finds condoms in Debbie's pocket. He believes Ethan is taking advantage of his daughter and beats him up. In December, Andy and Debbie eventually tell Cain of their romance, resulting in Cain attacking Andy thus causing them to break-up.
In March 2005, Charity decides to leave Emmerdale after her ill-fated wedding to Tom. Debbie decides to come with her but at the final moment decides she doesn't want to leave her father Cain. Charity and Debbie have an emotional farewell before she drives out of the village with Noah.
Debbie found out she was pregnant in January 2005 but manages to conceal this from everyone; she plans to abandon the child at the hospital after birth. However, in June, she gives birth in a shed, assisted by Daz Eden and Emily. Debbie names her daughter Sarah after Andy's adoptive mother. Zak and Lisa Dingle help Debbie tell Cain about his granddaughter Sarah as she is worried about his reaction. Cain tells Andy about Sarah who promises to provide for Sarah. Debbie and Andy reunite briefly but it is short-lived. Emily and Debbie start to bond again and Emily helps Debbie look after Sarah. Debbie, however, is not ready to be a mum and wants to be a normal teenager and constantly asked Emily to look after Sarah; annoying Cain, who did not want Debbie turning out like her mother.
Cain starts working at the garage again, wanting to provide for Debbie and Sarah. Cain's boss and Andy's estranged brother Robert Sugden becomes romantically involved with Debbie. She, however, is unaware he has an ulterior motive. Robert wants to hurt Andy and therefore take Sarah away from him. He persuades Debbie to leave Emmerdale with him however ends the relationship when Debbie decides to leave baby Sarah with the Dingles while they are travelling. On 2nd October Robert to leave the village with Debbie, Sarah and Max King. When Debbie arrives with Andy and without Sarah, Robert tells her he only wanted to take Sarah away from Andy. A violent fight ensues between Andy and Robert, broken up by Max.
Feeling Sarah would experience a better life without her and knowing that Emily is leaving the area, she asks her to take Sarah with her. Emily initially refuses, however, changes her mind when Debbie says she'll get Sarah adopted anyway. Therefore, after Sarah's christening on 21st December 2005, Emily takes Sarah to live with her. Daz realises what is happening and rushes to tell the Sudgens and Dingles, however, it is too late as Emily has already left. The Dingles are horrified and disgusted on what Debbie has done and say so, with Cain being the angriest. The Dingles and Sugdens are desperate to find Emily. With Debbie showing no remorse for her actions, Lisa and Debbie clash. After another fight, Debbie moves in with her only friend Jasmine Thomas and her uncle Ashley Thomas in the vicarage.
2006-2010: Feud with Cain and relationship with Jasmine Thomas
Cain and Debbie's relationship completely breaks down, with both trying to hurt each other at every opportunity and Debbie's behaviour becomes erratic. In February 2006, Debbie kisses Jasmine to get a reaction from her father, Cain. Ashley wonders whether Debbie is a bad influence on his niece. Daz fancies Jasmine and becomes jealous of Debbie's and Jasmine's friendship. He gets drunk and accidentally sets fire to the vicarage, trapping Debbie inside. Cain rescues Debbie and they seem to bond. However, it is short-lived as Debbie falsely claims she started the fire, thus protecting Daz. Ashley then kicks her out and she goes to live with the Dingles again.
In April, Debbie confesses her love for Jasmine and they start dating. However, Cain, wanting to hurt Debbie, seduces Jasmine who is confused about her sexuality. Jasmine cheats with Cain on multiple occasions. In June, Cain ensures that Debbie sees them together, knowing that will culminate in a break-up. Debbie is devastated and horrified that her father and girlfriend could do such a thing and dumps Jasmine. However, in August Debbie befriends Jasmine again upon Jasmine discovering her pregnancy. Sadie King, pitying Jasmine, pays for her abortion. Debbie, knowing that Cain wants another child, tells him about Jasmine's aborted baby to hurt him. Cain falsely confesses to helping Alice commit suicide, protecting his brother Sam who actually did it. Debbie demonstrates love for her father as she's worried he'll be sent to prison. In September, Cain kidnaps Sadie and Tom King for financial gain to start a new life. Debbie wants to flee with Cain but Cain doesn't allow it - instead, he tells her he always loved her and gives Debbie some money.
Debbie starts working at the garage. She finds 10 grand in Rodney's car and takes it however her boss Scott Windsor catches her and fires her. Debbie calls Scott a fool for not keeping the money and Scott changes his mind and decides to keep the money. They share it together thus growing closer - eventually they begin dating. Jasmine finds out about the stolen cash and Debbie and Jasmine fallout. Rodney finds out about the stolen cash and in retaliation scams Scott. Scott then leaves thus ending their relationship and leaving a 17-year-old Debbie in charge of the garage.
Emily returns Sarah to Andy and Debbie tells Andy that she does not want to be a mother. He later allows the Dingles to visit Sarah and Lisa Dingle hopes that Debbie will bond with Sarah, which she does, and asks Andy for access but Andy refuses. In May 2007, Debbie later begins and on/off relationship with her cousin Eli Dingle after enlisting him to pose as Scott so she could take out a bank loan. Jasmine and Debbie reconcile their friendship. Debbie, Chas and Lexi decide to stage a jewellery scam at Home Farm and steal a valuable necklace and share the sale money. Debbie wants more money so gets Eric Pollard to help scam Chas and Lexi out of their share. Lexi discovers the truth and the pair fight in the street, accidentally dropping the necklace down a drain.
When Andy is sent to prison, his girlfriend Jo Stiles asks Debbie to look after Sarah, which Debbie enjoys. When Andy finds out about the arrangement he becomes furious and punches Jo, leaving her with a black eye. Debbie discovers that there is a case of domestic violence between Andy and Jo and worries for Sarah's safety. Debbie warned Jo if Sarah was harmed in any way, she would remove her. Debbie encourages Jo to leave Andy and they eventually split up. Debbie gives Jo money so she and Sarah can flee Andy. Jo later starts letting Andy have access to Sarah again, which annoys Debbie. Jo realises that Andy had been breaking and repairing appliances to win back her trust. She then decides she has to leave Emmerdale for good but leaves Sarah with the Dingles.
Debbie becomes wary of Jasmine's new boyfriend Shane Doyle. She tells Jasmine of her suspicions but Jasmine ignores her. On 2nd December 2008, Jasmine realises Debbie is right about Shane after she ransacks Shane's flat for evidence and discovers money and drugs. When Shane turns up Jasmine makes a run for it, but Shane grabs her and attempts to rape her. However, Debbie bursts in and knocks Shane unconscious with a chair. Shane knocked unconscious and Debbie and Jasmine try to flee however Shane wakes up at grabs Debbie. Jasmine then assaults Shane repeatedly resulting in his death. Knowing that they both will go to prison if anyone finds out, Debbie gets Eli to help dump Shane's body in the lake at Home Farm and Shane is reported as missing. The lake freezes over and Victoria Sugden falls through the ice and finds his body. Ross Kirk is originally charged with his murder because of a feud. Jasmine wants to confess but Debbie talks her out of it. They become close again and start a relationship once again. Lisa wants Debbie to take custody of Sarah but Debbie refuses as she is worried about being arrested for her part in the murder of PC Shane Doyle.
In January 2009, Eli is arrested for Shane's murder and he tells the police it was Debbie and Jasmine. They decide to run away together but the police catch Debbie and arrest her. With Jasmine on the run; Debbie is left to take the blame for the murder. Debbie and her father Cain become in contact again as he pays for her solicitor. Cain plans to come back to help her, however, is arrested as Andy informs the police of his return. The Dingles disown Eli and Eli thinks of a plan to free Debbie. He enlists the help of Danielle Hutch to harm Debbie, concluding in Debbie being hospitalised. The Dingles then break into the hospital and try to persuade Debbie to flee however Debbie refuses to run away. In March, at Debbie's court hearing, Jasmine arrives and admits to murdering Shane. Debbie is found guilty of perverting the court of justice while Jasmine is found guilty of her charges and sentenced to four years imprisonment. They have an emotional farewell. Natasha Wylde offers to look after the garage while Debbie is away and pays Debbie's debts.
Debbie is released from prison. Her time in prison made her realize that she wants Sarah back. Natasha Wylde pays for a solicitor so she can fight for custody. However, Natasha's daughter Maisie Wylde is dating Andy and does not approve. Maisie and Debbie have a fight and Debbie dunks Maisie's head in a water trough. Debbie thinks that she has ruined her chances but Maisie ends the relationship with Andy as she wants to keep out of the situation. Cain comes back and wants to help Debbie gain custody. Cain enlists the help of his nephew Aaron Livesy. Aaron is dating Andy's sister, Victoria, and he persuades her to play truant from school and steal from local shops. Cain reports Andy to the social services, informing them about Victoria's behaviour and his past of domestic abuse. Andy, scared of losing Sarah tries to flee however Debbie finds out and tries to stop him. Andy locks Debbie in his house until Cain breaks in to free Debbie. In June 2009, Debbie is awarded sole custody of Sarah after Andy withdraws his application. Andy is diagnosed with clinical depression and is referred to a specialist and put on a course of medication. Debbie and Andy patch up their relationship and Andy start seeing Sarah again.
Debbie met Michael Conway after helping him fix his car and the pair starts dating in September 2009. However, she was soon devastated to learn he had a girlfriend who Michael admitted he was engaged to with a baby on the way. He told her that he loved her and had called off his wedding and wanted to be with her but Cain was suspicious. Cain's suspicions were confirmed when he found a text on Michael's phone from his best man confirming the wedding was still going ahead, so he beat Michael up. In October 2009, attending the wedding, Debbie and Cain are shocked to discover that his bride is Debbie's mother Charity. He calls the wedding off, wanting Debbie back, but she chooses to build a relationship with Charity and her younger brother Noah. Cain is hopelessly in love with Charity and they start a relationship however Charity is only interested in Cain's money. Charity attempts to steal Cain's money however is caught by Debbie and Cain. Debbie disowns her mother and chucks her out of her house. Cain and Charity later reconcile but annoyed at their inability to get along and their disastrous failed wedding, Debbie takes a job in Jersey and leaves Emmerdale in March 2010.
2011-2013: Sarah's illness and dangerous relationship with Cameron Murray
She returns a number of months later and moves back in with her parents and later reveals that her boss tried to take advantage of her and she gained revenge by humiliating him and stealing money. Debbie starts a relationship with a man she initially met and had an affair with in Jersey, Cameron Murray. Sarah loves Cameron and he soon moves in. Debbie discovers she is pregnant but is unsure of whether she should keep it. Carl winds Debbie up by telling her about Cameron's flirting with Eve. Cameron and Debbie argue and she blurts out about her pregnancy; initially annoyed by Cameron's uncaring attitude she storms out. Cameron later finds her and claims he ecstatic and cannot wait to be a father again. She later suffers a miscarriage and is annoyed that Cameron doesn't seem bothered. Cameron insists he is just as upset as her and they decide to try for a baby.
Sarah is later diagnosed with a blood disorder, Fanconi Anaemia. Debbie and her family campaign to find a bone marrow donor. They find a suitable donor but they pull out. Debbie and Andy do not like the idea of the other treatments with bad side effects and decide to have a child together to create a new donor. Cameron and Andy's girlfriend Alicia Gallagher are uncomfortable with the idea but Debbie and Andy go ahead regardless, emotionally blackmailing Cameron and Alicia into agreeing, by telling them that they'd do the same if their child was seriously ill. When they are refused IVF and artificial insemination attempts are unsuccessful, Debbie sleeps with Andy and are overjoyed upon Debbie discovering her pregnancy. Cameron decides he can't deal with this and leaves but Charity, thinking it was artificial insemination, persuades him to give Debbie another chance. Cameron gets jealous of Andy's interfering and warns him to back away. Andy, however, tells Cameron that he bedded Debbie. Cameron then decides to leave Debbie for good but Debbie begs Cameron to stay, for Sarah's sake as well as hers. Cameron does not leave Emmerdale straight away though and goes to live with Debbie's aunt Chas in the pub.
In March 2012, Andy and Debbie find out their baby is a match for Sarah after Debbie undergoes tests. Cameron and Debbie eventually reunite after Debbie admits he is the only person she has ever truly loved, Andy is hurt as he loves Debbie but she does not feel the same about him. Andy's jealousy continues. Debbie learns that she is expecting a baby boy; while Cameron starts an affair with Debbie's aunt, Chas Dingle. A few months into her pregnancy, Sarah reveals she wants to go to Paris. Chas raises the funds and Sarah and Debbie are thrilled. Debbie plans for Cameron her and Sarah to go but Cameron lets Andy take his ticket, much to Debbie's displeasure as he knows Sarah wants her daddy. He claims to go to Jersey to see his kids but sneaks off with Chas in a hotel. Cain gets suspicious when Cameron's son rings and asks to speak to Cameron, who is supposed to be with him, however, Cameron manages to cover himself.
A few weeks later, Debbie is shocked when Cain reveals his suspicions about Cameron to an unsuspecting Debbie and realises she has doubts herself. Meanwhile, Chas asks Cameron to run away with her; Cameron agrees. On the day Cameron is supposed to leave, Debbie and Cain confront Cameron. A heated Cameron lashes out at Cain and Debbie is knocked over, hitting her head and fears she may lose her unborn son. When rushed to hospital, tests show the baby is unharmed. Debbie is grateful as her son is the key to saving Sarah. Back home, Sarah asks if her brother still has "the magic potion" to save her and Debbie has tears as she realises how much Sarah wants her brother and how much it would hurt Sarah if Debbie didn't keep the baby totally safe. This, however, brings Cameron to his senses and he realises how much he loves Debbie, despite his affair with Chas. Chas also realises he prefers Debbie and she breaks up with him. Cameron wants to prove his commitment to Debbie and proposes; Debbie initially does not respond however accepts when he proposes again in the pub.
Debbie doesn't want to leave Sarah however Cameron and Charity convince her to go shopping. Cameron promises to look after Sarah however forgets as he is too distracted by Carl King. Carl demands £30,000 otherwise he'll tell Debbie about Chas and Cameron's affair. Meanwhile, Debbie comes home with Charity from shopping, to find Sarah collapsed. Debbie is fuming with Cameron for leaving Sarah unattended and Cameron feels guilty. When rushed to hospital, Debbie, Cameron, Charity and Victoria discover Sarah is in a pre-leukemic state, meaning she is fast developing Leukaemia. Debbie demands to be induced but is refused, as her son will be premature, and could die. She gave birth to a baby in October 2012, naming him Jack Sugden.
When Debbie returned from hospital, she was unaware that Cameron had killed Carl the night before when she was giving birth to Jack after a blackmail attempt. Debbie discovered six new messages from Carl on her phone. When she opened them, she found three pictures and three texts of Cameron sleeping with Chas. Cameron arrived back from putting Jack to sleep and Debbie told him to pack his bags and leave because she thought Cameron was with Chas the night before. Cameron left and Debbie shows the pictures to Cain and Charity. Cameron begged Chas to leave but they were stopped by Charity, Cain, Debbie and Zak. The police were called and Cain and Charity were arrested for breach of the peace. Chas confessed to Carl's murder unaware that Cameron actually delivered the killer blow and she too was arrested. Cain and Charity were released without charge but Chas was charged with the murder of Carl, even though she pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Cameron remained in the village to stand by Chas and declared his love for her in front of Debbie, as part of her revenge she set fire to his possessions and trashed his truck. Cameron then declared his love for Chas again in the pub in front of Dan and Charity. Charity and Cain then swore to get revenge for Debbie.
In late 2012, Debbie feels she needs to provide more for baby Jack and Sarah after Sarah begins her chemotherapy after her transplant. Debbie decides to set up a delivery firm and sleeps with new villager Dom Andrews to get his contracts. In the morning, Dom thought Debbie had feelings for him but was surprised when Debbie acted coldly towards him. Charity came over shortly after - and accidentally let slip that she and Debbie were trying to con Dom out of his money. After it is revealed that Dom's boss Pete does drug work, Pete tries to get Debbie to do drugs runs for him and ends up threatening Sarah, leaving Debbie to terminate the contract.
Debbie hires Robbie Lawson as her assistant and they go into selling cheap vodka. Their biggest orders were from Eric and Val Pollard for the B&B and Debbie even tries to rip off Chas in The Woolpack. When the seller's price goes up, Debbie and Robbie set up a meeting with one of Robbie's old mates Kirk, who becomes very interested in Debbie. Whilst Debbie is at the meeting with Kirk, Jack and Sarah are nearly killed by Andy's girlfriend Kerry Wyatt when she accidentally sets fire to Dale View. Kirk continues to be interested in Debbie even though Robbie reveals he is engaged to a woman named Charlene. Kirk states that Charlene will have him for the rest of their lives and he deserves to have Debbie while he can and kisses her. Debbie begins to get weary of him, thinking back on her previous times with engaged men, like with Michael. They have a major argument and decide to end their agreement. Debbie starts to get harassed and believing it's Kirk, Cain puts Kirk in hospital. However, Charity realises it is actually Robbie. Robbie fancies Debbie and wants to protect her and therefore is causing problems then fixing them to gain Debbie's trust. When Debbie finds out she sets Robbie up with the police thus causing Debbie to lose her only non-family alliance.
Debbie's erratic behaviour started causing concern and the Dingles started to worry for Sarah and Jack's safety. Cain and Debbie fell out as Cain revealed he thought Debbie's behaviour was the reason for Moira Barton's miscarriage. Even though Debbie's relationship with Charity also became strained, Charity remained determined to stay loyal to her daughter. Debbie's life was rocked when someone called the social services on her, causing her to walking around blaming everyone in the village. However, she was shocked when Sarah admitted it was her who called them and horrified when she realised that her daughter was scared. Andy and Debbie passed the inspection and Debbie decided she needed to work on herself and change for her children's sake.
In June 2013, Debbie starts to get close to her 14-years-old aunt Belle and is horrified when she drinks half a bottle of her dodgy vodka and is left with possible brain damage. The Dingles throw Debbie out of the family and she loses her kids to Andy. She stays with Zak and gets her life back on track and gets closer to Cameron when he comforts her. Cameron begins to feel sorry for Debbie when Andy takes Jack and Sarah away, leading to the pair sharing a brief and tender kiss. Cameron persuades Debbie not to flee the village with Jack and Sarah because everyone has turned against her. Cameron feels a strong vibe towards her and accidentally, the pair end up in bed together. Just after sleeping with Cameron, Debbie discovers from Cameron "that it felt right" in his opinion, and is horrified that he wants her to help him cheat on Chas as he did to her. Debbie denies it and says that it was a stupid mistake and that all she cares about is her kids at that moment nobody else. She then tells Cameron to leave, but Debbie knows that she still loves him. Zak takes pity on her and allows Debbie to stay with him. Cain tells Debbie to leave Zak alone as he is too weak to sort out Debbie's troubles. Zak, however, is determined to get Debbie back on the right track and continues to look out for her. Debbie then starts to change for the better and is eventually allowed custody of her children again.
In July 2013, Cameron continues to fight for Debbie and after she angrily confesses that she tried to kill Chas, Cameron realises that it took a lot for her to confess, so he thinks she still trusts him. He follows her home from the café, unaware that Gennie Walker is hidden upstairs with a dictaphone, taping their conversation. Cameron confesses that he killed Carl. Debbie says she still loves him and they can get through it together, as she believed that he was with Chas while she was giving birth to Jack, but finally realises that Cameron was "threatened" by Carl and killed him in "self-defence". Debbie and Cameron kiss and head to tell Chas they are back together and while kissing in the street, they notice Gennie sneak out of Tug Ghyll. The pair chase her, which leads to Gennie tossing her car down a ravine. Cameron pulls a hurt Gennie out of the car while Debbie calls an ambulance. When Debbie asks if Gennie will be alright, he nods to her. After she walks off to find the ambulance, Cameron places a hand over Gennie's face and suffocates her to death. Debbie runs down the ravine and throws herself at Cameron, saying that she killed her auntie Gennie. Cameron kisses her but doesn't tell her he did it. Later when the police arrive Debbie lies to them saying that she found Gennie after driving by. Jai arrives whilst looking for Gennie to see Debbie with the police and is told what had happened. Later Debbie, along with Jai and the police, arrive at The Woolpack and tell Brenda, Bob, Nikhil and Chas about Gennie's death.
Cain supports his daughter Debbie after Gennie's death and they begin to bond again. Debbie and Chas also start to bond again after Gennie's death and Debbie struggles to contain her guilt. She is desperate for Cameron's support however Cameron says he has to stay with Chas right now. They agree to tell Chas after Gennie's funeral. On the day of the funeral Chas wonders where Cameron has gone - she later sees him coming out of Debbie's house. In the funeral, she realises that Cameron and Debbie are seeing each other. Struggling to contain her emotion Chas runs out the church whilst giving a speech about Gennie. Cain runs after her and demands to know what Cameron has done - she replies with he did Debbie. Fuming, Cain punches Cameron at Gennie's wake and Debbie and Cameron reveal that they are now a couple.
Cameron comes to live with Debbie but while he is moving his stuff into the house, Cain taunts him. Cameron taunts him back, leading to Cain knocking him unconscious and dragging him into his car. Debbie witnesses this and tries to stop Cain, however, Cain drives off. Desperate to know where Cain is taking Cameron, Debbie starts shouting at Charity and Chas, demanding to know where he is. Charity reveals that he might be at the quarry as that was where she and Cain once planned to kill Cameron and fake his suicide. Debbie rushes to her car and drives to the quarry. She finds a tied and gagged Cameron locked in the back of the car while Cain wipes his fingerprints off the steering wheel. Debbie begs Cain to stop but Cain ignores her and proceeds to push the car off the cliff. Unable to physically stop him, Debbie stands in front of the car. Cain demands Debbie to move however she does not, saying he will have to push her off as well. Cameron pleads with Debbie to move, knowing that the ground underneath is crumbling and it is unsafe. Debbie does not resent and Cain emotionally says that she is choosing Cameron over her family to which Debbie replies please don't make me choose. Cameron shouts at Cain to let him go and Cain does so. Cameron then punches Cain but Debbie stops him from doing more. Debbie and Cameron decide to have a break and go on holiday to Jersey. When they return the Dingles are still apprehensive about Cameron.
2013: Cameron's murder revelation and The Woolpack Siege
In September 2013, Debbie finds Gennie's dictaphone and realises that Cameron murdered Gennie, Carl, and Alex Moss. She tells Chas who takes her to the police. Debbie allows the police to bug her house. She tries to get Cameron to confess however he only does so while he is at the pub, out of the police's earshot. Cameron proposes to Debbie and she nearly accepts. Wanting to speed things up and get away from Cameron as soon as possible, Debbie is wired by the police as she tries to get Cameron to confess. Cain starts to become suspicious about her behaviour and tells Cain about her plan. Cain promises to support her. Debbie manages to get Cameron talking about Carl, Alex and Gennie's deaths. She tells him that she will forgive him if he tells her what really happened. Cameron then explains how he put his hand over Gennie's mouth and killed her. Debbie screams out a code word and Cameron realises that the police are watching him. He holds Debbie hostage and threatens to kill her. Debbie tries to reason with Cameron, but then she asks if Alex deserved it. Cameron drags Debbie up the stairs, but she pushes him down, injuring him. Debbie escapes and Cameron is arrested. Debbie then has an emotional reunion with Cain and Charity. Later that month she goes on holiday with Cain and the children as Sarah is being bullied because of Cameron.
In October 2013, Cameron manages to escape jail, gaining his passport and clothes. He then buys a ticket for a ferry, so people would assume he's left Yorkshire for good, however, he doesn't attend the ferry. When Debbie, Chas and the other villagers are aware of his escape, they panic, with Debbie fearing the worst, therefore, Debbie's house is guarded by policemen at all times. Later on, Sarah goes to find Andy but is found by Cameron. She is taken by Cameron and locked in a barn, who assures her he will get Debbie and Jack, and go away as a family somewhere. She believes him, but when Zak and Moira are alerted of her disappearance they look for her. Debbie is furious when she finds out that Sarah is missing and tries to go and search for her however Chas persuades her to stay here and look after Jack. Debbie knows that Sarah is with Cameron however the police do not believe her. Debbie and other villagers including Chas are in the Woolpack she learns Sarah has been found by Andy and Moira, and are ecstatic until they learn that Cameron took her and is back. Chas then locks the Woolpack's doors wanting to keep Cameron out - however, she does not know Cameron is in the back. Cameron enters the Woolpack with Zak's gun, taking everyone hostage also knocking Marlon unconscious and leaving him in the cellar, where the floodwater rises.
Cameron demands Debbie leaves with him however she refuses. He does not understand and blames everyone for talking poison about him. Zak and Cameron begin to argue and Cameron goes to shoot Zak but accidentally shoots Alicia Harding. David Metcalfe begs Cameron to let her out as she needs for medical assistance as she is dying. Cameron refuses. Debbie tries to persuade Cameron to let Alicia go by saying she loves him and she doesn't mind what he has done - he just needs to let Alicia go - however, Cameron says one more death won't matter. Dan comes up with a plan to take Cameron's gun off him and asks Debbie to distract Cameron. Debbie says she loves him and Cameron starts to believe her. He asks her to say the three words that persuade him she does love him. When Debbie thinks Dan has got Cameron's gun, she shouts "It's a trap" instead of "I love you." Cameron reacts quickly and controls the situation but is upset annoyed that Debbie lied to him.
Debbie realises Cameron will never let Alicia go until she agrees to leave with him. She says she'll leave with him and that she loves him however Cameron is sceptical due to her previous lies. Debbie eventually persuades him that'll be easier if everyone is gone as they only have to worry about themselves. Cameron then lets David and Alicia out and the rest of the villagers out however he keeps Chas Dingle as a remaining hostage. Worried about Chas' safety Debbie tries to persuade Cameron to let him go but he will not. Debbie tries to take Cameron's gun off him and a dramatic struggle between the three of them causes him to shoot through a window using the last of his bullets. Chas and Debbie fail and Cameron realises Debbie was lying. Furious and unaware that all his bullets have gone, Cameron, he asks Chas and Debbie to decide between them which one should die and counts down from 10. Wanting them to fight, Cameron becomes angry when they refuse to choose each other. Debbie knows that Cameron wants her to say Chas and becomes angry. She starts to shout at him, angering him, resulting in him pulling the trigger at Debbie. Debbie and Chas lung for the gun but Cameron reloads the gun and remains in control.
Shocked that Cameron tried to kill her, Debbie remains quiet while Chas becomes angry and goads Cameron. They then hear a noise in the cellar and Cameron tells Debbie to see what it is - one wrong move though and he'll shoot Chas. Debbie sees Marlon and quickly tells him to save them before rushing out. Chas keeps winding Cameron up and tells him to shoot her, however, Debbie diffuses the situation by telling Cameron to take the money from behind the till so he can get away. Cameron then trusts Debbie again while Chas becomes more annoyed, thinking Debbie's true colours are showing. Just when Cameron is about to shoot Chas, Marlon comes and hits Cameron over the head with a beer bottle, knocking him unconsciousness. Debbie and Chas rush to the cellar, desperate to find a way out. However, they become engulfed by water. Chas gets traps underwater however Debbie manages to save her. Cameron regains consciousness and manages away from Marlon; going to the cellar. He insists on him and Debbie drowning together and grabs Debbie, however, Chas saves Debbie and hurts Cameron. Marlon manages to find a way out and Chas and Debbie follow suit. However, Cameron creeps from behind Debbie and grabs her. Cameron kisses Debbie as he drags her underwater. As Debbie struggles, she manages to get out of Cameron's reach. Debbie manages to get away and is now outside and safe. Cameron gasps for breath, trying to pull Debbie back in however he fails. He grabs a bulb and because of the encounter with the water he is electrocuted; finally killed ending his wrath and getting his comeuppance. Debbie rushes to Zak, soaking wet and crying as he reassures her Cameron is where he belongs - in hell, ending the Woolpack siege and Cameron's life. After surviving the siege Chas and Debbie make amends and recoup their aunt and nieceship.
2014-2016: Relationships with Pete and Ross Barton and departure
In January 2014, as Debbie struggles to move on from Cameron she attacks the new employee at Dingle Automotives, Ross Barton after he makes a clumsy pass at her and touches her arm. He constantly attempts to impress her but always fails. When his brother, Pete Barton, thinks Ross is harassing her, he attacks Ross. In March 2014 an angry Ross later sets up Pete's car so he cannot go to a meeting. However, it backfires when Debbie is the one called out to fix it. Debbie is first frustrated to come face-to-face with Pete as she pulls up to help the breakdown and Pete is soon forced to cancel a meeting as Debbie tends to the car. The two begin chatting and before long, the chat turns into a kiss and the two are soon having sex in the back of the van. However, Debbie's brought crashing back down to earth when Pete mentions Cameron and she tells him that she's made a mistake. She tries to ignore him, but Chas persuades Debbie to try and leave Cameron in the past and make up with Pete.
Debbie and Pete begin a secret relationship, but a jealous Ross soon finds out. When he deliberately damages Ashley Thomas' car after an argument at the garage, Debbie insists he must pay to repair the damage himself. Ross later buys dodgy flash cars for Debbie to try and win her affections, but furious, she insists he should get rid of them before her father finds out. He sells them and gives the money to her. Debbie briefly ends her relationship with Pete when he tries to insist she see someone about getting over what Cameron did to her. In April, customer Alastair Harper comes onto her and gropes her, she ends up stabbing him in the leg with a screwdriver. She's arrested for assault but is let out on bail. She admits that she's still vulnerable to Pete who confronts Harper in hospital and threatens him to drop the charges. After discovering this, Debbie kisses him and they get back together.
Debbie proposes to Pete on24th April 2015 and he accepts, however, Ross is not happy to hear the news. In June 2015, after Charity unexpectantly gives birth to a baby boy while serving time in prison, Debbie becomes his guardian and the Dingles name the baby Moses. While leaving Moses in Pete's care, Debbie begins an affair with Ross. Ross, however, is later revealed to be the father of Moses. Debbie is unaware of this and continues sleeping with him. Debbie and Pete later plan to marry in August but Debbie and Ross intended to run away together a few days before. Their plan is discovered by Cain and ruined as he reveals to Debbie that Ross is Moses' father in late July. Debbie then orders Cain to dispose of Ross, so he leaves him in a locked van on the edge of a cliff.
On 4th August 2015, Debbie Dingle and Pete Barton get married. At the wedding reception, Pete discovers Debbie's affair with Ross when a USB stick containing a recording of Ross is accidentally played by Chas, thinking it was the first wedding song. Pete is furious with Debbie, but moments later a helicopter damaged by an explosion, caused by Chrissie White, crashes into the village hall, killing Val Pollard and Ruby Haswell. Debbie is found under collapsed debris and fights for her life, as Pete and Cain carry her out of the rubble. Ross sees Pete putting an unconscious Debbie into the car and later goes to the hospital and asks Pete whether she is alive. He does not respond, worrying Ross. Debbie, however, is on life support and wakes up later. Unknown to her, Pete has knocked Ross unconscious in a fight. Fearing that Ross is dead, Pete conceals him and returns to visit Debbie in hospital. She begs for Pete's forgiveness and holds out her hand expecting Pete to hold it, to which he does, and tells her to forget Ross. Debbie later comes home but Pete cannot cope with his guilt and tells Debbie he killed Ross, shocking her and compares him to Cameron. Ross, however, is later seen alive in a hospital bed, determined to win back Debbie. Following the breakdown of her marriage, Debbie vowed to put her children first and a few months later, Debbie and Ross decided to give their relationship a go but it ended on New Year's Eve when Debbie discovered Ross and Andy's involvement in Robert Sugden's shooting three months previously. Debbie took Sarah and Jack and drove away from the village on 1st January 2016. Ross chased the taxi down the road to try and get her to stay but the taxi drove off into the night and later she settled in France.
In October 2016, Charity and Cain learn Debbie has decided to sell the business and her home to Chrissie, apparently deciding also not to come back to the village, devastating Cain and Charity who then plans to move to live with Debbie in France. However, Cain changes his mind and they remain in the village.
2017-2019: Return and relationship with Joe Tate
In January 2017, Debbie stole a car and a lot of money and headed back towards England with Sarah and Jack. She returns to the village on 24th January 2017. Debbie has run out of petrol when Lydia Hart pulls up next to her and asks if Debbie and the children need a lift, but Debbie declines her offer. Debbie gets up and opens the wheel compartment of the boot where there is a stash of €100 notes. Again Lydia asks if Debbie wants a lift, and Sarah grabs the bag and goes with her, forcing Debbie to abandon the money. Just as Debbie and the children come barging into Wishing Well Cottage. Debbie states she needs a lift and fast. Debbie informs Cain and Charity that there is €50,000 sitting in the back of the car, just as Ross walks in. Ross questions why Debbie left the money and Sam wonders why she nicked it in the first place. Debbie insists she needs to get the cash, so Cain takes her back to the abandoned car, and orders Charity to make sure everything is okay in the village as well as asking Sam to look after Jack and Sarah. Cain and Debbie drive to the car and can't believe it when the police are already by the car. Cain states it's only money. Whilst Sam is looking after Sarah and Jack, two men Tugs and Razor force their way in looking for Debbie and kidnaps them.
Cain, Charity, Debbie and Ross return to Wishing Well to find Sam duck taped to the wall. Debbie panics and questions where Jack and Sarah are. Sam explains the two men want their money and left a phone to tell her where and when to give it to them. Ross asks if Sarah still has her phone as they could use the tracker on it. The tracker leads Cain, Debbie and Ross to a railway line and Debbie fear the worst. Debbie decides to call the police, but Cain stops her as it will waste time, so they'll need to rely on Charity who has gone to the bank to get money from Chrissie's bank account. she gives them the cash and Cain, Debbie and Ross turn up to the warehouse ten minutes late. The men count all the cash and let Sarah and Jack out of the car. Back at Wishing Well Cottage, Debbie reveals she needed the money for Sarah or she'll die, as she has cancer.
Sarah's cancer had returned and had to go to Prague for treatment. Debbie and the kids live with her ex-stepmother Moira and her newly returned Grandmother Faith Dingle. Debbie and mother Charity start up a business together renting expensive cars to rich customers. When the car gets stolen mysterious potential customer Tom Waterhouse buys Debbie a new car.
Whilst Charity and Debbie were in a meeting with Tom's right-hand man Graham Foster, their Bentley was stolen. Tom gifted Debbie a new Bentley and they soon began a relationship. Tom lavished Debbie with expensive gifts and even bought Jacobs Fold for her and her children to live in. Against Graham's advice, Tom gave Debbie a job. On her first day at Waterhouse International, Debbie discovered Tom was behind the Dale Woods Golf Course project which was trying to force the demolition of Debbie's family's home to make way for an access road.
Debbie forgave Tom as he spun her a tale about only finding out the project would affect her family when it was too late, lying he kept it all from her because he didn't want to lose her. Charity was suspicious of Tom so she set off the fire alarm at his office building and searched his office where she found his passport and discovered Tom was lying about his identity - he was really her former step-son Joseph Tate. Charity tried to warn Debbie but Joe intercepted Charity's call and sent Graham to stall Charity. Whilst Graham was keeping Charity busy, Joe arranged for the Bentley to be taken away and for Debbie's belongings to be moved out of Jacobs Fold. Joe revealed to perplexed Debbie that he was really Joseph Tate, she was just collateral damage in his quest to get revenge on Charity for his father's death.
After Joe revealed himself, Debbie trusted him less until Graham helped Debbie and Joe get back together. Joe knocked down the Dingle home which Debbie confronted him about, and to get revenge Debbie pays drug dealer Simon McManus to physically attack Joe but when Simon sees Ross stepping out of Joe's car, he believes Ross is Joe and throws acid in Ross' face. In June 2018, Sarah found out and was furious with her mum, refusing to talk to her. Later, after Sarah collapses, she is taken to hospital where she is told she is suffering from heart failure, as a very rare side-effect of the chemo. Debbie tells her they are gonna get through this and that she will not die. Sarah picks up a virus and is forced to stay permanently in the hospital while waiting for a transplant. Meanwhile, Debbie and Joe started rebuilding their relationship and even Sarah started to take a liking to him.
In September 2018, Debbie and Joe got engaged, which soon was followed by Joe proposing they marry at the hospital chapel in October 2018. Unfortunately, Joe had to go on the run after the return of his step-grandmother Kim Tate, who revealed he wanted Graham to kill him. Debbie turns up at the masquerade ball wondering where Joe has gone. She is told by Kim that Joe is not coming back and that everything he has told her is a lie. Furious about what Joe did to Debbie, Cain punched Joe which caused Joe to fall and hit his head off a rock. On 12th October Debbie is arrested and she tells the police the truth behind the acid attack. Debbie is charged and refused bail at her preliminary hearing. When Debbie is still held by the police, the hospital has an offer of a heart that is a suitable match for Sarah and she is told they can go ahead with the transplant. Debbie is allowed out of prison, for a short time to visit Sarah in hospital before the transplant. Debbie begs for the operation to work as she is escorted back to prison. After the operation, Charity calls Debbie to inform her that the new heart has experienced some instability and they're unsure of what will happen. The following day, Sarah safely recovers. Later Sarah gets to come home and Debbie gets out of prison, awaiting her trial. On 17th December, Debbie returns from court, disclosing she was found not guilty of GBH.
Debbie was determined to find out what happened to Joe as she felt she needed answers. She was convinced he wouldn't just leave her like that and in January 2019, she reported him as a missing person. However, Cain, on the other hand, was riddled with guilt as he thought that he had killed Joe. On 14th January 2019, Cain confesses to Debbie that he killed Joe, which resulted in the breakdown of their relationship. She agreed not to call the police on her father but said she couldn't stand being around her anymore. She attempts to move away with the kids to Scotland but is stopped by the Dingles and Sarah who doesn't want to move away from her family.
In April, Cain revealed the police had been in contact and that Joe was in fact still alive and Graham had somehow covered it up and gotten him out of the country. Cain insists that now that they know what really happened they can move on but Debbie insists he leaves her alone as she's still furious about how he handled the situation. In late May, Lisa returns to the village and reveals she is terminally ill and won't live long, devastating the Dingles. She passes away on 23rd May 2019, leaving her family personal letters. Following Lisa's funeral in early June, Debbie repairs her relationship with her father after encouragement from the letter.
2019: Move to Scotland
In July 2019, Cain finds out Lisa has left Debbie and Belle a garage in Scotland and in the belief that his sister and daughter belong in Emmerdale, went there to try to sell it behind their backs. However, upon his return, Nate Robinson overhears Cain confessing the reason for his trip to Moira and he then reveals this to Debbie who can't believe Cain was planning to sell the garage behind her and Belle's back, leaving Debbie upset with her father. After Cain apologises to Debbie the two make up and Debbie starts seriously consider moving to Scotland but hesitated due to Sarah.
In August, Sarah confronts Debbie, having caught wind of her plans and declares that she wants her mum to be happy and that she should go if that's what she wants. However, Sarah wants to stay behind but assures her she can visit on weekends. Debbie leaves for Scotland on 13th August, leaving Sarah in the care of Charity and her fiancee, Vanessa Woodfield. However, Charity is not ready to let go of her daughter that easy, causing the two to have a huge row before Debbie leaves, resulting in Charity missing seeing Debbie off. However, after some encouragement from Ryan Stocks, Charity runs after Debbie's car and the mother and daughter have a tearful goodbye on the side of the road where Charity admits she doesn't want Debbie to go as she's afraid she won't come back. Debbie admits she can't promise to return but reassures her that everything is okay between them now and that they'll keep in contact. Then Debbie drives out of the village towards her new life in Scotland.
Since she gone, her garage has been a popular destination for Dingles wanting to get away from the village for a while. Cain, Chas and Aaron have all been there to help out at the garage and Zak stayed with Debbie for almost 6 months. During her absence, Debbie has gained two more half-brothers as Nate Robinson was revealed to be Cain's long-lost son in October 2019 and Charity adopted Vanessa's son Johnny in October 2020.
2020: Return to Emmerdale
- Debbie was written out temporarily when Charley Webb took maternity leave in March 2010. Debbie made her departure in Episode 5555 (12th March 2010) when the character moved to Jersey but returned eight months in Episode 5762 (12th November 2010).
- In June 2015, Webb announced she would take a temporary break from the show as she was pregnant with her second child. Debbie made her on-screen departure in a move to France in Episode 7388 (1st January 2016) and it was confirmed in December 2016 that Webb would make her return the following month. She made her official return in Episode 7729 (23rd January 2017).
- Debbie was written out a third time in August 2019 when Webb went on maternity leave again. Debbie then left the village for a new life in Scotland in Episode 8565 (13th August 2019).
"I love you." - to Jasmine Thomas.
"Happy doesn't exist! You let someone into your life, they take what they can get then they dump ya'. That is never going to happen to me again, all I need is myself!" - to Cain Dingle after being confronted about her change in attitude.