Upon meeting Zoe Tate for the first time in August 1995, he took a shine to her, unlike his wife Margaret. Being married didn't stop Ken from trying to get Zoe interested in him, asking her if she had a boyfriend, but she is vague in her response. Ken unnecessarily calls Zoe out just to see her, angering her. Later that day, Ken calls the surgery asking Zoe to come out again, but he is told by receptionist Linda Glover that she has gone to lunch. Ken takes his frustration out on his wife, but phones back again. However, when she arrives, Ken is threatening towards her and tells her that he knows she's a lesbian, but she needs a "good seeing to". He tries to rape her but Zoe throws her medical bag at him. Her exit from the barn to her car is witnessed by Margaret.
Zoe tells partner Emma Nightingale about what happened, and Emma tries to convince Zoe to go to the police, but Zoe doesn't want anyone to know. However, this doesn't stop Emma from telling Linda that Ken attacked Zoe. When Zoe's father Frank figures out that something is wrong, Emma tells him but refuses to give the attackers name, but when Frank confronts Linda, Linda feels she has no choice and discloses Zoe's attacker to a fuming Frank. Frank turns up at High Ridge Farm and punches Ken. However, he is stopped by Margaret, who claims Zoe is lying as Ken was with her the whole time. Ken reports Frank to the police, and he is arrested for assault. Emma takes revenge by putting up posters everywhere, reading "Ken Adlington - Women beware, this man is dangerous", which upsets Zoe. Margaret goes around to Smithy Cottage and confronts Emma and Zoe, but during an argument, Margaret confesses that she is afraid of Ken, as he beats her up and she has nobody to escape to.
When Ken goes into the village, he tries to goad Frank into attacking him again, to which Frank says tbat he regrets not hitting him harder so he was unable to hit his wife. Ned Glover and Jack Sugden stand up to Ken, telling him to never step foot in the village again. Frank is acquitted of his assault charge as Ken didn't turn up to court.
In January 1996, Kelly Windsor tries to stop Ken from transporting veal calves in appaling conditions, having been told by Jack that Ken is the only one who still does this. However, Kelly and her boyfriend Roy are trapped in Ken's lorry, and when Ken's truck is faced by protestors, the police find Kelly and an injured Roy in the lorry, to Ken's shock.