Detective Constable Laura Prior is a police officer investigating the murder of Mark Wylde with DS Nick Henshall after Mark's body was discovered by Sam Dingle. After questioning the Wylde and Lamb families, the detectives arrest Nathan Wylde on suspicion of his father's murder but is released, due to a lack of evidence. Nathan's half-brother, Ryan Lamb, is arrested after Nathan frames him by planting the murder weapon at the garage where he works and a gold chain with Ryan's DNA at the murder scene. After questioning Ryan, Prior and Henshall charge him with Mark's murder.
Prior returns in January 2011 to investigate the arson attack in which Viv Hope and Terry Woods are killed. She is unaware that Nick Henshall is responsible for the blaze but his frequent mood swings make Prior suspect he is overworked. Together, they question Katie Sugden, Chas Dingle and Gennie Walker. Katie tells Prior that she thinks the arsonist has also been making prank telephone calls and broke into their home. Chas, however, thinks her ex-boyfriend, Carl King, could be responsible but Gennie believes Andy Sugden is the culprit. After stating that Carl and Andy will be interviewed, the detectives leave. Henshall and Prior go to Butler's Farm and question Andy at the police station, where he protests his innocence. After the interview, Prior remarks to Henshall that they have no evidence against Andy, only hearsay and speculation.
Prior attends Terry's funeral with Henshall and notices Henshall's discomfort, asking if he is alright but he brushes off her concerns. Andy goes to the police station and makes a complaint about Henshall harassing him. Initially Prior insists that Henshall is just doing his job and has not broken any rules until he tells her Henshall and Katie are dating and he suspects Henshall is trying to frame him. Prior is surprised by Andy's revelation and confronts Henshall, who admits his relationship with Katie. Realising Henshall is jeopardizing the case, Prior reports him and Henshall is taken off the case. He angrily confronts Prior in the locker room, frightening her with his rage, accusing her of ruining his further promotion chances and being jealous of Katie. The following day, Prior goes to Victoria Cottage to review Katie, Chas and Gennie's witness statements and finds Henshall there. Katie tells her that on the night of the attack, she had been out for dinner with Henshall and after a confrontation with Andy, they ended their relationship.
Prior also visits Carl to review his statement and discovers a key piece of information missing from Carl's original statement. Carl had revealed that he nearly crashed into a car as he drove into the village in his van, just before he saw the fire. Carl says that he was not shown his statement to sign, surprising Prior as this was police procedure. Prior confronts Henshall in The Woolpack and demands an explanation but he insists that he did not think the evidence was reliable. Prior warns Henshall that if she discovers the truth then she will not defend him.
Henshall spots Prior speaking to DC Darren Foster at the police station. He tells Henshall that Prior has found a CCTV camera across the road from the shop where the phone used to make the nuisance calls to Victoria Cottage was bought from. They find footage of Henshall leaving the shop, making Prior search for Henshall and warn Katie. On arrival in the village, Chas tells her that they have gone, first to Henshall's house for his luggage and then away for a while. Prior gives Chas her mobile number and asks her to call if either Katie or Henshall contact her. She and Foster go to Henshall's house and knock on the door, knowing that he and Katie are there, but no one answers. Realising the danger Katie is in, it soon turns into hostage situation and the area is cordoned off. Prior waits by the cordon when Andy and Gennie arrive and she reassures them that the situation is under control, and asks for Katie's mobile number. Prior calls Katie's mobile and Henshall answers. She tells him that she knows he was responsible for the prank calls and asks for his side of the story but he refuses to say anything or let her speak to Katie. On Prior's request to see that Katie is alive, he drags her to the window for her to see.
As night falls, Prior continues to call Henshall's phone but he doesn't answer. Prior's boss tells her that as she cannot handle Henshall, he will send a team in. Foster suggests they storm the place but she overrules him, reminding him that Henshall has already killed two people so they should not risk Katie's life. She tries again to speak to Henshall, putting Foster's mobile through the letterbox when he won't answer the door and calling it repeatedly but he doesn't answer that either so Prior gets a loudspeaker and asks Henshall to answer the phone but he ignores her. The Chief Inspector tells Prior that she did her best and they will send a team in. Andy tries breaking through the cordon and has to be dragged away, warning Prior that he will hold her responsible if anything happens to Katie. Gennie asks what will happen next and Prior tells her that she will try to talk to Henshall for as long as possible, reassuring her that the armed response teams are trained for the type of situation they were in. A shot later rings out and Prior is apprehensive, thinking Henshall has killed Katie but she emerges unharmed. Katie tells Prior that Henshall has shot himself and she is overcome with shock.
List of appearancesEdit
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