March - July: Arrival and Relationship with Robert
In March 2003, Elaine moved to the village with father Ronnie, sister Frances and brothers Paul and Ali. The family took residence in Holdgate Farm, previously owned by the Reynolds family. Robert Sugden immediately took a fancy to Elaine, but he was in a relationship with Donna Windsor. Elaine left school, and started working with her mother at Eric Pollard’s factory, after losing her previous job.
While Donna was away, Robert and Elaine grew closer as he taught her how to drive, selling her his car. They started an affair, but Elaine refused to sleep with Robert until he broke it off with Donna. When Donna returned Robert finished their relationship, and he and Elaine kept their relationship secret to avoid hurting Donna's feelings
September - October: Crash and Robert exposed
In September 2003, Robert won Elaine back following an argument over an insensitive comment he made. However, distracted by flirting with Elaine, Robert crashed the car into a tree. In a moment of fear, Robert moves an unconscious Elaine into the drivers seat. Elaine had no memory of the accident, and felt guilty until discovering a bruise on Robert's chest from where the seatbelt was. Robert confessed all, and Elaine split with him. However, Ronnie found out about the incident and attacked Robert.
In December 2003, Ronnie attempts to seduce Paul's wife Siobhan Marsden, resulting in her smashing a bottle over his head. When Frances finds out, she goes berserk and smashes up Holdgate Farm with an axe before throwing Ronnie out. However, she is left regretting her decision and follows him to Hull, forcing Elaine to move with her when Paul and Siobhan refuse to let her stay with them.