Jake's mother died when he was a child and Greg married Melanie. He returns in January 2008 to help his father re-build Annie's Cottage. Jake does not take to building so when Jack Sugden offers him a job on Butler's Farm, while Jack's adoptive son Andy was in jail, Jake agrees. Jack's daughter Victoria takes a liking to him but he only sees her as a friend. With Andy in prison, Jake is more interested in Jo Stiles, but Sam Dingle tells him to leave her alone. Jake continues to work there until Andy fires him in June 2008.
In early 2008, Greg and Mel learn that Arthur may not be their son as the hospital are investigating a possible baby swap. Convinced it is the Thomases' grief talking, Jake helps Greg and Mel go on the run. When thwarted at the airport, Mel disappears with Arthur but keeps in touch with Jake. Greg later finds out and convinces her to come home. Weeks later, DNA test results prove Arthur is Ashley and Laurel's son and custody of him is awarded to the Thomases. Daniel, the Dolands' biological son, died in February 2008. They leave town several weeks later to live in Spain, but Jake decides to stay in Emmerdale.
Jake takes over as head chef at the Woolpack after Marlon Dingle quits in a huff and starts dating Jasmine Thomas. Marlon is convinced to return and Jake returns to being assistant chef. In October 2008, Jake throws a party in an attempt to help his flagging romance with Jasmine. Unfortunately for Jake, PC Shane Doyle wants Jasmine and ends the party by claiming that there have been complaints about noise and whispers to Jake that he'd slept with Jasmine. A furious Jake attacks him and is arrested. Jasmine tells him she has had enough and ends their relationship. Jake becomes close friends with Daz Eden and he moves in with Daz when Daz didn't want his girlfriend Scarlett Nicholls to join him.
In mid-2009, Greg asks Jake to join him and Melanie in Spain and finds him a job. In August 2009, Lizzie Lakely, who is blind, asks him to scratch a scratchcard for her and tell her if she has won anything – she wins £500 but Eli Dingle convinces him to keep quiet and they split the money. Initially Jake agrees and cashs in the scratchcard, but feeling guilty, Jake confessed to Lizzie. Pleased at Jake's honesty, Marlon gave him the money for his flight to Spain.
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