However, he returned two and a half years later after being released from prison and murdered Rhona's then-boyfriend Graham Foster.
Pierce's father Tim died when he was a young man. Pierce had no choice but to raise his sisters, as his mother Martha was unwilling or unable. His sisters went on to have children, and his mother was to them what she had never been to Pierce or her other children. Likely as a result of being a parent to his siblings, he had no desire to have children with his wife Tess.
2016: Tess' death and relationship with Rhona Goskirk
In September 2015, Tess began cheating on Pierce with Paddy Kirk. A few months later Tess feared she was pregnant, although the test was negative. She confided in Paddy that Pierce did not want any children, unlike herself who wanted to be a mum.
In February 2016, Pierce was called to Hotten General Hospital as Tess had been run over by Kirin Kotecha. At the hospital, Pierce was informed that Tess had died. Pierce confided in Paddy and his wife Rhona that he thought he and Tess would be able to work out their issues. Paddy lied to him that Tess's last words were that she loved Pierce (when in actuality she'd told Paddy that she loved him).
The following month, Pierce was given the personal items that had been in Tess' car. He discovered Tess had been having an affair and had a secret phone. He also found a brochure for the Mill Cottage development and wanted to have a look. Before looking at the development he went into The Woolpack for a drink where he saw Paddy and Rhona. He revealed that he had Tess's affair phone, which made Paddy squirm. Paddy's best friend Marlon Dingle came to his rescue but Rhona, who knew about the affair, agreed to meet Pierce the following day. Pierce showed Rhona some of the texts Tess had sent to her lover, and after learning they were texting on Christmas Day and planning to go to Paris, Rhona cracked it and revealed to Pierce that Paddy was Tess's mystery man.
In April 2016, Pierce wrote numerous bad reviews for Paddy and Rhona's vet's surgery on a local business review site. Rhona realised he was behind them and confronted him, saying she just wanted to forget about the affair and move on. Pierce tried to make Rhona realise that she was kidding herself, thinking she could patch up her marriage to Paddy. A few days later, Pierce handed out flyers on Hotten Road hoping to find a witness to Tess's accident. Pierce handed Rhona and her friend Vanessa Woodfield one, so Rhona invited him to Smithy Cottage for a cup of tea. Pierce explained he had moved into a hotel since Tess died, so Rhona allowed him to temporarily stay with her and son Leo for a few days as she and Paddy had split up.
Pierce continued looking for answers on how Tess died, and questioned Rakesh Kotecha about if he knew Tess, as Rakesh's was the owner of the flat development Tess had a brochure of. Rakesh denied knowing Tess but Rhona later admitted that Rakesh's son Kirin was the police's main suspect in Tess' death before he scarpered. Pierce confronted Rakesh and called the police to say Rakesh was covering for his son. PC Williams visited Pierce and told him as there was no evidence of Rakesh being in contact with Kirin, the police couldn't do anything, although she told him the investigation was still ongoing.
In May 2016, Pierce took Rakesh's job at his old firm, although told Rakesh that he would reject the job on the condition that Rakesh told him where Kirin was. Rakesh refused so in an attempt to find out more Pierce stole Vanessa's phone, as she had dated Kirin in the past before he fled the village, and became suspicious when she received numerous missed calls from Rakesh. Pierce got Vanessa's housemate Carly Hope to allow him into their house. Vanessa was shocked to find Pierce in her living room and demanded that he left. Pierce instead asked her to sit down and answer a few questions, insisting she was hiding something. Pierce refused to allow Vanessa out of the house until she revealed everything she knew about Kirin's whereabouts. Vanessa let slip about a letter Rakesh received from Kirin and Pierce lost his temper, waking Vanessa and Kirin's baby son Johnny. Rhona walked in as Pierce grabbed Vanessa's arm. Vanessa demanded Pierce leave, and she questioned why Rhona would allow him to live in the same house as Leo. Rhona explained to Pierce that the reason that Rakesh was calling Vanessa was that he wanted to set up a trust fund for Johnny. That night Rhona and Pierce kissed and slept together. They decided to give the relationship a go, as long as it wasn't made public.
After a short time, their relationship did become public, with some questioning and resistance from loved ones, especially Paddy's best mate Marlon Dingle, who also worried Pierce would replace him in son Leo's life. In a petulant act, he laced Pierce's food with laxatives, only to be mortified when Eric Pollard ate the food instead. Pierce chose not to take action against Marlon when he learned of the stunt, leading Marlon to change his mind about him. Pierce and Carly Hope began training for a marathon, leaving Rhona jealous over their closeness. She told Pierce she was in love with him; he eagerly said he felt the same way about her. They made more plans for their future, only to be surprised by Paddy's return from Germany in late August 2016.
2016-2017: The Hotten Bypass car crash and anger issues
Paddy was furious to realise Rhona was now involved with Pierce, and that Pierce had moved into his home, complete with reorganising everything to his tastes. He brawled with Pierce on the front steps. To get away from the tension, Pierce and Rhona went on holiday, but while they were gone, Paddy moved in and tried to reclaim his home, making a mess of Pierce's system and pocketing an item of Rhona's clothing. Chas Dingle convinced him to move on, and he tried to put on his best face when Pierce and Rhona returned. Pierce quickly worked out from a flummoxed Pearl Ladderbanks what Paddy had done. Rhona was annoyed, but still willing to move on. Not happy at Rhona's lack of interest in going for the jugular in her divorce from Paddy, Pierce planted another item of her clothing in Paddy's belongings. Still, Rhona and Paddy made amends, helped when he agreed to let her keep the house and their only real arrangements were for Leo and the vets. Pierce became paranoid about their relationship and his own relationship with Rhona became filled with tension and doubt.
After believing that Rhona was going back to Paddy, Pierce finally made a decision to leave Emmerdale for good. On the way to Leeds Airport, there was a massive car collision on the Hotten Bypass which Pierce, Paddy and Rhona were involved in. The accident was caused by a crazed Emma Barton, after she pushed her helpless fiancé James from the bridge above the bypass. James landed through the windscreen of Ashley Thomas's car. Pierce looked at Ashley's overturned car and skidded to a halt. A van smashed into Ashley before smashing into Pierce. Rhona and Paddy come along, moments later. Paddy was distracted before the car overturned. Pierce watched as another van smashed into his car. One more car and two vans crash, one of the vans crashed by smashing into Paddy and Rhona. Another car smashed into Paddy and Rhona. As Pierce saved Rhona, he decided to leave Paddy for dead as more cars and a motorbike collided on the bypass. Rhona is lifted into the ambulance as Pierce runs back to the car, pretending to notice that Paddy was just found. Rhona suffered a heart attack but was released within several weeks. Pierce tried to convince her to take pain medication, but due to her addiction, she refused.
Paddy tried to take a step back for Rhona's sake, but Pierce continued to stew with jealousy over their relationship. Aaron's sister Liv clashed with Pierce, and, being friendly with Paddy, she decided to try to wind Pierce up by sending Rhona flowers with a card that was only identified by the letter "P." Pierce was humiliated when he falsely accused Paddy. After learning Liv was the culprit, he berated her, and was furious when she compared him to her father, Gordon Livesy, who was a paedophile. Back home, Rhona tried to calm him down, but he smashed the mirror in a rage. Seeing that he'd frightened her, he left, but the next day Paddy tracked him down as he knew Rhona was unhappy without Pierce. Pierce agreed to go to therapy and had a breakthrough while sharing his past with Rhona. He began to feel less anger.
2017: Rape of Rhona and imprisonment
Pierce and Rhona married in April 2017, but the day was less than happy when Pirce raped his new wife. Rhona went to the police later reported him. During the trial he attempted to defend himself by claiming that they had an active and rough sex life, even trying to use a sex tape that Rhona had unwillingly consented to on a previous occasion as "evidence" for this. Despite this, he was found guilty and sentenced to jail. However, as the rape classed as consummating their marriage in the eyes of the law, Rhona was unable to get an annulment. Later, Rhona visited Pierce in prison for closure and he finally admitted what he did.
In February 2017, Rhona and Pierce announced their engagement with everybody being happy for them except Rhona's best friend Vanessa who remained sceptical towards him and their relationship, thinking they're rushing into things. Pierce started examining possessive behaviour and acting strangely. In March 2017, Pierce coerces Rhona to try on some underwear for him. When Rhona models some of the underwear Pierce begins to record his reluctant fiancée. Despite Rhona not being comfortable, Pierce begins to kiss her with the camera still rolling and they ends up making a sex tape. Rhona feels insecure about the sex-tape and asks Pierce to delete it after Vanessa accidentally sees it on his computer. Pierce then sets Vanessa up by making it seem like she purposefully searched for and watched the tape when in actuality he had very deliberately left it there for her to see to make Rhona distrust her. Pierce agrees to delete the tape as Rhona wishes but secretly keeps a file on his computer.
On 24th April 2017, Pierce and Rhona marry, but the day ended up less than happy. When they get home Pierce tells Rhona he wants the two of them to move away. Rhona refuses, which leads to Pierce lashing out and insisting she is still in love with Paddy. Rhona denies his accusations but after seeing his violent behaviour Rhona is terrified and tries to run away, telling him they are over. However, Pierce stops her, pushes her to the floor and violently rapes her. Rhona and Pierce separate but Rhona struggles to cope takes a holiday with Leo. A few weeks later, Rhona revealed to Vanessa that Pierce raped her on their wedding day. Vanessa eventually manages to persuade her into reporting him to the police. When the police come to arrest Pierce, Paddy and Marlon a furious, believing she has lied about him hitting her. However, they are horrified when she admits he raped her.
In late July Pierce's trial was held. As Rhona takes the stand, with tears streaming down her face, she talks about the assault and tells the jury how she kept saying no and begged Pierce to stop, but he didn't. Rhona's testimony had had an effect on everyone in the court. The defence tried to paint a picture that the bruises on Rhona's arms were just a result of the couples' wild sex life and Rhona's claims were just an attempt to punish Pierce as she was having an affair with Paddy, Despite this, a few days later, Pierce was found guilty of rape and subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.
In August 2017, Rhona goes to see Pierce in prison. He tries to apologise to her but Rhona can see Pierce is still trying to manipulate and control her, so she calls him a "Sad, pathetic, delusional man". She declares she's going to live the rest of her life the best she can before she walks out.
2019-2020: Release and killing Graham Foster
In December 2019, Rhona was horrified to find out that Pierce was up for parole. A month later, he made a shocking return to the village, bashing Rhona's then-boyfriend Graham Foster over the head, knocking him out. As he dragged Graham's body through the woods, Graham regained consciousness and the two got to talking. It was revealed that Graham had visited Pierce in his flat after he got released from prison on 13th January 2020, and had proceeded to warn him to stay away from Rhona before beating him up. Pierce had then returned to the village and spied on Rhona. After realising she was planning to move away to France with Graham, he decided to take him out before they had a chance to. Graham attacked Pierce and a fight ensued where Graham got the upper hand. however, he refrained himself from killing him in an act of mercy which he later came to regret when Pierce came after him again. Pierce hit Graham with his car, causing him to fall off a cliff. Graham was surprisingly still alive and another deadly fight brought out ending when Pierce struck him with a final fatal blow to the head.
After the murder, Pierce set up Rhona's ex Marlon Dingle by leaving the murder weapon, the torch, in his house and he was subsequently charged with the murder. Meanwhile, Pierce continued to stalk Rhona going so far as to enter her house when she wasn't home and hiding behind a curtain, listening to her conversations. In February 2020 after overhearing Rhona telling Vanessa she blames Kim Tate for Graham's death, Pierce sets his sights on Home Farm.
After noticing Kim driving near Home Farm, Pierce suddenly emerged from the shadows and deliberately crash his bike into Kim’s car. Believing it was an accident, Kim invited Pierce inside to check him over. Posing as a solicitor called Ollie, probing Pierce made small talk with Kim and soon had her in the palm of his hand, as the conversation turned to the bitter custody case her son and daughter-in-law are embroiled in. Kim introduced ‘Ollie’ to Jamie and promised to tap him up as the battle with Andrea over Millie’s future continues. Little does Kim realise she has let her husband’s killer into her life and put herself in danger: Pierce is fixated on framing someone for Graham’s demise believing him and Rhona can run off into the sunset together. That night, Pierce snuck into Rhona's house while she was asleep, and told her that he still loves her and will take her away from all this very soon.
2020: Kidnapping Vanessa and her son, final showdown and being caught out
On 13th February 2020, Pierce was spotted by Vanessa walking around the village. In desperation, he picks up her 4-year-old son Johnny and runs into the empty Mulberry Cottage with Vanessa in tail. There, he takes them both captive but separates Vanessa from her son who he puts in a room upstairs whilst tying her up downstairs. He decides to keep her and Johnny captive to give him time to carry out his plan and win Rhona back. On 17th February 2020, Pierce went through Vanessa's bag and found a letter from the hospital, revealing that she has bowel cancer. This caused Pierce to open up about his father's death, which was a result of cancer. After weeks of holding her captive and separated from her son, Pierce used Vanessa to call Rhona to lure her to the house. On 25th February 2020, Rhona met Pierce at Mulberry Cottage in order to save Vanessa and Johnny. She managed to outsmart him, getting him to confess to Graham's murder whilst she filmed the whole thing. Rhona then injected him with a vial strong enough to take down a bull and told him once and for all that he was not her hero and protector, just before police stormed in and arrested him. Police soon assured him they had enough evidence to get him sent down for a long time.
|29 Ryder Avenue||Until April 2016|
|Smithy Cottage||April 2016 to April 2017|
|HMP Hotten||July 2017 to January 2020|
|Flat 5b, Fairmont Lane||January to February 2020|
|HMP Hotten||February 2020 to present|
"I'm here for Tess Harris, she's, uh, been in an accident. Yeah, Pierce Harris, I'm her husband." - First line.
"That's for sleeping with my wife! Admit it! You slept with my Tess!" - To Paddy Kirk, after punching him to the floor for his and Tess' affair.
"Tess. They say you left with your memories. I don't even know if I have that much. Turns out most of them were...were a lie. How did it come to this? I wish I'd known that you were unhappy, I wish you could've told me what I was doing wrong. We could've talked about it. Instead of this...now...a man in a field, who...doesn't know whether to...grieve for you or...or to shout at you! I loved you, Tess. Yeah, I did. But it ends now. I won't let you own me! I won't let you own the rest OF MY LIFE!" - Pierce, in a field with Rhona Goskirk, as they commit to moving on from their unfaithful partners.
"Because... being compared to a paedophile when I have done nothing- (Pierce picks up a mug and hurls it at a mirror, smashing both) -NOTHING WRONG! I'm supposed to... just let the whole world walk all over me, am I?" - Pierce's outburst at the climax of his anger issues storyline.
"You're going nowhere! You're MY WIFE NOW! We are going to sort this out." - Pierce, after forcing Rhona to get back inside the house after she attempts to run away.
"You are not leaving me! You can't! No. You love me!" - Pierce, right before raping Rhona on their wedding day.
Pierce: I didn't know... didn't know that I was capable... of that. That's why it wouldn't sink in. And... and it's only now... I'm so sorry, Rhona.
Rhona: You're sorry?
Pierce: Yeah. I've never said it, but... I am. It's... it's the biggest regret... it's the biggest mistake I ever made. We... could've had a life together. I loved you... so much.
- Pierce finally admits what he did to Rhona, and finally apologises for it.
"I love you. I promise I'm going to take you away from all of this very soon." - Pierce, to Rhona while she is sleeping.
"Prove it." - Last line.