Emmerdale Wiki
Emmerdale Wiki

Robert Jacob Sugden is the biological son of Jack and Pat Sugden, the adoptive son of Sarah Sugden, brother of Jackie, Tommy and Sandie Merrick as well as Victoria Sugden, and the adoptive brother of Andy Sugden. He is also the father of Sebastian White and the estranged husband of Aaron Dingle.

Robert had a good childhood, but his home life became hectic after his father Jack and adoptive mother Sarah were caught in affairs in 1997 and 2000 respectively, and even more so when Sarah was accidentally killed in a barn fire. After finding out his adoptive brother Andy was responsible for her death, a bitter feud started developing between the brothers with Robert causing trouble for Andy and his girlfriend Katie Addyman. Robert later goes on to have a fling with Nicola Blackstock and dates Donna Windsor and Elaine Marsden simultaneously; both relationships ended badly when Donna found out Robert had been unfaithful and when Robert and Elaine were involved in a car accident. By the end of 2003, Robert started an affair with Andy's fiancee Katie Addyman which ended with Robert telling Andy the truth, leaving him devastated. After Andy and Katie separated, she and Robert got together and eventually became engaged. However, she left the village after she discovered that Robert had an affair with Sadie King. After that, Robert and Andy's feud reached new heights which culminated in the tragic death of Max King, resulting in Robert leaving the village to avoid being arrested. He returned briefly in 2009 after Jack's death and watched the funeral from afar.

Five years later, Robert got engaged to Chrissie White, the daughter of agricultural machinery tycoon Lawrence White and returned to the village. Robert and Andy's feud was re-ignited, and Robert started causing trouble for the couple, but they put their differences aside as Andy and Katie remarried. Robert soon began an affair with Aaron Livesy which was discovered by Katie, ultimately leading to her death when Robert pushed her onto some rotting floorboards, sending her plummeting through to the basement and breaking her neck. Aaron later revealed their affair to Chrissie who threw him out. After Robert refused to sign the divorce papers, Chrissie set fire to his car, which resulted in a massive explosion and causing a devastating helicopter crash. Weeks later, Robert was shot by Ross Barton, in a deal that he and Andy had. He recovered and went on to grow closer to Aaron again as he supported him when he admitted he was sexually abused by his father Gordon as a child and helped Andy to leave the country after Andy was wrongfully accused of shooting Lawrence. Robert and Aaron later got engaged after being involved in a massive car accident.

In 2017, Robert and Aaron got married in an unofficial ceremony before Aaron was due to be sentenced to prison for GBH. Whilst Aaron was in prison, Robert had a drunken one night stand with Chrissie's half-sister Rebecca which resulted in a pregnancy, leading to the breakup of Robert and Aaron's relationship. Robert was enraged, blaming Rebecca for his and Aaron's split, and conducted a plan to take Home Farm from the Whites. However, after Rebecca gave birth to Sebastian Robert began to change, and abandoned his plans. In February 2018 Aaron and Robert reconnected shortly after their wedding anniversary and he moved back into The Mill with baby Seb. In October, Robert and Aaron legally married surrounded by their family and friends.

In 2019, Robert supported his sister Victoria after learning that she had been raped by car salesman Lee Posner. He ended up killing Lee after hospitalising him in retaliation for denying to have perpetuated Victoria's rape ordeal. After being detained and later pleading guilty to Lee's attack prior to his death, Robert was sentenced to 14 years in prison.


1986-2001: Birth and early life[]

Emmie ep 1043

Pat with baby Robert

Robert is born on 22nd April 1986 to Jack Sugden and Pat Sugden. Pat was killed in a car accident in August 1986 and Robert was looked after by Jack and his mother Annie Sugden, and godmother Dolly Skilbeck. However, in September 1988, Jack moved with Marian Rosetti to Rome in order to try to rebuild their relationship, taking Robert with him. Whilst they were away, in August and September 1988, the Hughes family moved to the village. In April 1989, Kate Hughes married Annie's son Joe Sugden, with Robert acquiring an aunt and two step-cousins. Robert ended up losing contact with his maternal relatives, when Pat's daughter Sandie left in May 1989. Jack and Pat's son Jackie was killed in a shooting accident in August. Additionally, Joe's marriage to Kate fell apart in August 1990 when Kate was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident on Pete Whiteley, and was sentenced to two years imprisonment in October. Despite this, Mark and Rachel still acted as siblings for Robert.

In September 1991, Emmerdale Farm began having problems with sheep dying from unknown causes. Joe got a pop bottle and filled it with poo as a sample for the vet. However, whilst exploring the barn, Robert found the bottle and drank from it. Robert took a turn and Mark rushed him to hospital. However, Mark is pulled over due to his erratic driving but managed to get a police escort. Despite the urgency of the situation, Mark still received a fine.

Robert Sugden's Gameboy

Robert gets given a Gameboy by Annie Sugden on his birthday.

In January 1993, Jack's girlfriend Sarah Connelly left Robert with Rachel and her friend Sangeeta Parmar whilst she and Jack went looking at a venison farm. Rachel was busy doing schoolwork, but the trio went on a walk when Rachel noticed how bored Robert was, unaware Michael Feldmann was watching Rachel. Robert ended up falling into a river and Michael immediately jumped in, saving Robert. In December 1993, the Sugdens are left with a tragedy when a plane crashes onto the village, killing Mark and Annie's husband Leonard Kempinski, leaving Annie in a coma and injuring Joe. Robert slept through the entire thing but felt the aftermath. In March 1994, Robert's half-sister Victoria Sugden was born, and her cries woke Annie from her coma. A few months later in May, Robert was present during Jack and Sarah's wedding.

Jack, Sarah, Robert and Victoria remained a happy family until 1995 when the married couple hit a rough patch and ended up arguing constantly. This distressed Robert, causing him to run away in March 1995. Derek Simpson finds Robert in his barn and ends up taking a liking to him, and comforts him. Derek later discovers where Robert came from and returns him, however, he is still arrested and charged with abduction, despite Robert's word about Derek being there for him and allowing him to move around on his own free will.

In 1996, Robert befriends Andy Hopwood, a boy the same age in local authority care whilst his father is in prison for robbery and manslaughter. Robert takes Andy to a local quarry where Andy traps his foot under a rock. Robert runs to get help and Biff Fowler rescues Andy. When Andy's grandmother dies, Jack and Sarah foster him but Robert begins to resent Andy and is unhappy at having to share his home and belongings. Despite this, Robert defends Andy when Donna Windsor tries to bully them and punches her. Donna tries to blame Robert for the bullying but no one believes her and she is suspended from school. After leading Donna astray, Robert and Andy take her joyriding in Leeds, causing a feud between the Sugden and Windsor families.


Sarah is killed in a barn explosion

Robert's life is rocked when he discovers that his father is having an affair with Rachel Hughes in 1997. Robert catches Jack and Rachel kissing. Horrified, Jack ends it but Sarah finds out. Robert's life seems to be back on track, but in 2000, Sarah has an affair with Richie Carter, and leaves Jack, taking Victoria with her. Robert sides with Sarah over his father but Jack wins custody as Sarah is not his biological mother. Robert stays with Kathy Glover and tells her that he intends to leave home when he is sixteen. On 16th November 2000, late in the night he goes to the barn to get belongings but sees it on fire as Jack comes outside. They hear shouts which Sarah’s and Richie’s and Robert tells Andy who is shocked not knowing anybody was in there since he sat fire to the barn. Richie gets out the barn barely alive and Jack tries to help but Richie tries to attack him thinking he sat fire to the barn. Jack goes back inside to get Sarah but his pants legs get caught on fire and all 4 of them watches as the barn explodes. Robert was deeply affected by this and even threw a brick through Richie’s window and attacked him. Later on that month, Andy and Robert had a brief tussle and argument when Robert wanted to go on a field trip when Jack was grieving about Sarah. In May 2001 Robert became careless despite Jack not feeling well because he was suspicious Jack started the fire. Andy confronted him about it scoffing him in disgust. Robert says why should he care for anyone if no one cares about him. Andy then calls him a tart leading Robert to punch Andy. They have a brief fight, but Robert reveals he think Jack started the barn fire. Andy then gets up saying he is wrong. Robert then replies saying that’s what everyone is telling him. Andy reveals he did it. Robert is disgusted by this and the next day moves out and leaves for Spain living with Annie and her husband not returning to the village for 3 months.

2001-2005: Feud with Andy, Teenage years, Affairs and exit.[]

15 year old Robert returns in August 2001. He is welcomed at home by Jack. However, he threatens Andy wanting revenge for killing his mother. Especially after Andy teases him about not having a girlfriend. When Andy starts to date attractive classmate Katie Addyman, Robert tries to break them up numerous time but fails. In early September 2001 he, Andy and Katie go on a night out in Leeds along with several other classmates, brother and sister Marc Reynolds and Ollie Reynolds, Donna Windsor and Eve Birch. The group however leaves when Andy couldn’t get in. They miss the bus and Andy and Robert argue annoying the group. To impress, Katie, Andy breaks into a nearby car and the group has Marc drive since he is the oldest. While driving in the rain the group laugh and joke and Robert makes jokes about Katie touching his leg. Marc however runs something over and they tell him to check it out thinking it’s an animal. However Marc in panic force the group out the car and Andy identifies it as their headmistress Miss Strickland. The group goes into a nearby barn to discuss what happened. When doing this, Robert and Eve come up with a plan saying to burn the car and the members of the group scoff this decision. Robert angrily retaliates telling Andy that he stole the car and that Marc drove saying they can get up to 10 years imprisonment. After heavy thinking the group decides to burn the car. When getting home, Robert cries saying he can’t close his eyes to Andy who is also wide awake. He then asks him did he feel bad when he kill Sarah. Andy then replies yes. Robert and Andy were nervous wrecks and was shocked about how Eve handled the situation so well. After Marc confesses, he gets a year imprisonment and the rest of the group do community service.

In 2016, when opening up to his partner Aaron Dingle about his bisexuality, Robert said that when he was 15 (in 2001), his dad caught him in his bedroom with an unnamed farmhand. Jack promptly sacked the farm hand and "leathered" Robert. Other than Jack saying that he was in trouble for skiving, it was never spoken about again. This event caused Robert to hide his bisexuality into he began his affair with his future husband Aaron nearly 14 years later.

Andy and Katie break up in January 2002, which lead to Robert and Katie sharing their first kiss. Andy and Robert have a fight about this leading Jack to break it up. Robert takes an interest to 24 year old Nicola Blackstock. He loses his virginity to her after his sixteenth birthday. She breaks up with him the next day by setting him up for him to catch her and Sydney Woolfe having sex. This changed Robert and caused him to start being a player in the village.

Robert and Elaine's Crash 2003

Robert crashes into a tree

After leaving school, Robert gets a job working as a mechanic at Scott Windsor's garage. After having sex with her in the back of his car, Robert starts dating Scott's sister, Donna. Feeling he is in need of more excitement in his life, he also starts dating Elaine Marsden. In September 2003 Donna cokes to Robert while he is fixing a car saying she wants her CDs that he borrowed. He said she could come by his house so he could give them to her. She turns up dressed up nice as she has a date in the village. While talking in the couch, Robert and Donna kiss and then they sleep together. Later on, Robert gets dressed asking her when is she leaving for her date. She then says she will stand the date up. Robert says she can’t stay here and afterwards saying they didn’t have sex and just had one last kiss making Donna angry. Days later, Donna and Elaine fight in the shop after Donna exposes that Robert slept with her. Elaine comes back and slaps Robert. At the end of the month, he convinces Elaine to get into his car and they drive down the village. They joke about Robert being bald which distracts leading them to drive headfirst into a tree. He calls Andy in panicking. He makes it seem like she drove the car as the ambulance came. He is in the hospital when Elaine’s father Ronnie Marsden attacked him. Ronnie also attacked Robert again a month later which causes Jack to punch him. Elaine finds out however, that it was Robert who drove the car as the bruise on his chest was from the seatbelt. In November 2003, he and Katie slept together igniting live between them when Katie was Andy’s fiancé.

In December 2003, Elaine and her family leave the village. Robert and Donna reconcile but Robert still wants excitement and begins an affair with Katie, now Andy's finance possibly for revenge for Andy killing Sarah. Robert and Katie are caught by Andy's half-brother, Daz Eden, in January 2004. Robert swears him to secrecy as if says anything Daz will be sent back to care. Daz tells Andy but Katie says he was lying and Andy send him back to care. They were caught again by Victoria in April 2004 and Katie silenced her by buying her a dummy. However, Jack was enraged she showed no communication and broke the doll. However, Diane tells Jack after Victoria told her. Before his birthday Robert walked in the house and Jack punching him and Donna slaps him for what he did during his birthday.

8th April 2004

Robert and Katie's affair

Feeling guilty, Katie ends the affair the day before her wedding to Andy in (17th February 2004) leaving him distraught. They later resume their affair right the wedding. Katie then plans to leave Andy, leaving a farewell note and her wedding ring. Robert gets out the shower when a crying Andy calls trying to talk to Jack but Robert picks up instead. Robert later goes to visit Andy who is recasted by this and comforts him. However, Katie appears trying to say goodbye to Andy. Robert can’t take anymore and then with Katie now by his side tells Andy that they love each other. Andy questions Katie and after this Robert and Andy have a tussle ending when Andy punches him. Katie asks Robert what is he doing there. He leaves for Andy and Katie to talk. He runs back in when he hears Katie screaming. He tries to hug Andy but he pushes him off throwing him off against the wall. Robert and Katie try to leave and they are outside when Andy points a shotgun at them and leads them back inside the house. He interrogated them in anger going as far to shoot over the heads. Jack runs in and reveals he knew about the affair which cause to Andy point the gun at him. He runs out. Andy tells Donna and she felt betrayed by the boy she loved and her best friend. She gets into continuous arguments attacking Katie and kneeling Robert after confronting him about it. Weeks later, fed up Andy hides in the caravan as he drinks. Robert, Daz and Katie look for Andy and Jack arrives at the caravan trying to put petroleum in and he opens the door leading Andy to shoot Jack. The group arrives and are petrified. Robert refuses to talk to Andy but they reconcile embracing each other in the hospital. Jack wakes up but disowns Andy but they make up and Jack returns to Butlers Farm with Robert and Katie still dating.

In May 2005 19 year old Robert proposes to Katie and she accepts, and the pair plan to marry later that year. However, Robert is seduced by 35 year old Sadie King. Robert and Sadie have an affair but Daz sees them together on and tells Andy who confronts Robert and attacks him in the garage bruising his face. He tries to force Robert to tell Katie about his affair with Sadie but Robert insists that Andy is lying. Katie learns the truth when she finds erotic text messages on Robert's phone from Sadie. Katie ends the relationship and Andy comforts her, leading to them sleeping together. Robert vows to get revenge on Andy, and helps Jimmy King and Cain Dingle set fire to the barn at Butler's Farm. Robert sees Jimmy and Cain beat up Andy as he watches in the background. Daz accidentally stabs Jimmy with a pitchfork while trying to protect Andy. Robert and Cain take Jimmy away and Jimmy's brother, Max, patches him up at the vets. However, the truth soon comes out and Jack throws Robert out, disowning him and calls him a traitor.

2nd October 2005

Andy crashes his car, swerving to avoid Robert

Robert and Andy's feud is reignited by this, leading Katie to leave the village in June 2005, so Robert starts dating Debbie Dingle, the mother of Andy's daughter, Sarah. Robert and Debbie plan to go to London, along with Max King who was leaving the village after poisoning cows belonging to the Briggs family for his father, Tom. However, on the day that they plan to leave in October 2005, Andy finds out about Robert and Debbie's plan and forces her to tell him where she is going to meet Robert, he goes there and confronts him, and they start fighting. Max is forced to separate them and Robert tells Debbie that he doesn't care about her and was only interested in her because of Sarah and wanted to hurt Andy by taking his daughter away. Debbie leaves and returns to the village, heartbroken. Max decides not to go with Robert and asks Andy to drive him to the railway station. Filled with rage, Robert turns the car around and accelerates, driving straight at Andy's Land Rover. Max panics and grabs hold of the steering wheel. The Land Rover goes off the road and rolls onto its roof. Robert stops and rescues Andy but the Land Rover explodes before he can rescue Max. Max is killed and Jack arrives just after the accident and Robert tells him what happened. Jack calls an ambulance and tells Robert to leave so he won't be arrested. Jack insists that Andy tell the police that he swerved to avoid a flock of sheep. Robert gets into his car and drives away. Robert is last seen at a service station, ordering some food and tells the waitress that he intends on travelling whichever direction his car is pointing.

2009: Jack's funeral[]

Robert at Jack's Grave (2009)

Robert says goodbye to Jack

Four years later, Robert returns on 10th February 2009, the day of his father's funeral, with his grandmother. Robert visits Butler's Farm and meets Natasha Wylde, who is on her horse and thinks Robert is an intruder. He explains that his father's funeral is taking place and watches from a distance, and Andy sees him. Andy tries to persuade Robert to stay and run the farm, but Robert tells Andy that he doesn't belong there any more, before driving off. Robert returns to the cemetery after nightfall, and lays a rose upon it, before leaving. After they go to the grave to say a final farewell to Jack, Andy sees the rose and tells Victoria that if Robert could have been at the funeral, he would have come.

2014-2015: Return and affair with Aaron[]

Episode 7007

Robert returns with his fiancée Chrissie

Robert returns to Emmerdale on 23rd October 2014 with his fiancée Chrissie White and her family (father Lawrence and son Lachlan). The Whites plan to buy Home Farm. Robert runs into Andy and Katie while visiting the farm and the two brothers clash immediately. Lawrence also isn't to keen on his future son-in-law, so he tries to get Katie and Andy's help to get rid of Robert altogether. He even fakes a heart attack during the Sugdens' memorial for their mother. In November, Robert tries to make himself look good by staging a raid at Home Farm, enlisting the help of Ross Barton and Aaron Livesy. It all goes wrong when Chrissie comes home early. Aaron and Ross manage to escape, but Lawrence ends up having a real heart attack. Chrissie notices that her mother's ring was stolen during the raid. So Robert confronts Aaron about it, who manages to get the ring back from Ross.

Soon after that, Robert finds out that Aaron is gay. On 4th December, after failing to reconnect with him after the raid, he claims to have broken down and calls for Aaron to help. Just when Aaron is about to leave, after he found out that there's nothing wrong the car, Robert makes a move on Aaron and the pair passionately kiss, but Robert pulls away before things can go any further. He returns home to Chrissie to make up with her but goes to see Aaron later that night. They meet at the garage and Robert apologises for pulling away earlier and they have sex in the back of a car. They continue their affair.

Episode 7095

Robert blows up Katie and Andy's caravan.

Katie becomes sure he's having an affair, alienating herself from Andy as a result when Robert tries to warn her off by blowing up their caravan in February 2015. Just as she's close to giving up, she gets a tip from Aaron, who wants to out Robert to force him to make a choice. On Robert's wedding day to Chrissie, Katie photographs Aaron and Robert kissing at Wylie's Farm after Aaron texted her to get there in order to finally discover the affair. Robert tells her to delete the photo. Robert and Katie argue. Katie threatens Robert with telling Chrissie, but Robert pushes Katie to the floor twice; the second time, the floor caves in and Katie is killed.

Episode 7100

Robert and Chrissie marry.

Later, Robert and Chrissie marry, and a few hours later, Andy finds Katie's body. Robert tries to help Andy, even stopping him from committing suicide, but also makes sure Aaron keeps quiet about their involvement in her death, telling Aaron that he and Katie had just been talking and she wouldn't have died if not for Aaron telling her to go to the farm. He and Aaron become estranged, but when he learns Aaron has returned to self-harm, he tells him a partial truth to put some of the blame for Katie on himself. Aaron beats him up, but they soon resume their affair, only splitting up again when Aaron realises he will always be second best in Robert's life.

After Chrissie refuses to pay Ross for a job he bungled, he tells her about the raid. A furious Chrissie throws Robert out of the house and begins divorce proceedings. Aaron, knowing he won't be able to resist Robert if he continues to be at the pub instead of Home Farm, tries to convince her to take him back. She nearly does, but then overhears him boasting about the plan to Aaron. She then locks Robert in a small building on the estate and threatens to set it on fire as he begs her to stop. Robert works with Lachlan to make it seem as if Robert has saved Lachlan from suicide. Chrissie decides to give Robert another chance.

Robert watches Paddy in the grain pit

Robert watches a trapped Paddy as he turns on the grain pit.

In July 2015, Aaron, sick of Paddy Kirk and Chas Dingle interfering in his life, restarts his affair with Robert. Paddy writes a note to warn Chrissie that Robert is a cheater, making her suspicious. A drunken Robert sees Paddy has fallen in a grain pit at Butler's Farm and turns the auger on, watching as the pit fills and Paddy is knocked unconscious after an attempt to escape sends him crashing to the bottom. Robert moves to save him, but goes to hide when Andy appears. Paddy accuses Robert of trying to kill him, but Robert keeps him quiet by threatening to kill Paddy's stepson, Leo Goskirk. He and Aaron continue their relationship, but after Aaron threatens to cut Paddy out of his life after more interference, Paddy tells him about what Robert's done, and suggests he also murdered Katie.

In August, Chrissie discovers Robert's affair with Aaron and tries to force him to sign divorce papers, offering to pay him if he does. Determined to ensure Robert doesn't try to change her mind, she tells Robert to sign the papers first. When he refuses, she douses his car in petrol. Robert continues to push Chrissie but is horrified when she does torch his car. He rushes to put out the fire, unknowingly missing the flames by gas canisters. The canisters fly into the air, striking a passing helicopter which was on its way to the Village Hall. The pilot attempts to land the helicopter in a field but underestimates the distance, subsequently crashing into the village hall, later causing the deaths of the pilot, Ruby Haswell and Val Pollard. Chrissie and Robert manage to save Adam Barton from a burning car shortly before it explodes, and Robert devises a plan to ensure they don't go down for the crime. However, Chrissie is suspected and arrested, but is found not guilty following a trial.

Episode 7301

Robert is shot by an unknown assailant

In September, Robert is shot near the heart by a mystery assailant during a heated argument with Chas Dingle. Robert barely makes it through surgery and spends the next month in a coma as various suspects are arrested and released. When Aaron is caught on video hiding the murder weapon, he's arrested, and due to his being on remand, kept in prison. Robert wakes up soon after, frightened that the shooter is still out there, as he does not believe Aaron pulled the trigger. After being released from hospital and needing to recover, he moves in with Victoria, one of the few people to stick by him. Still doubting his guilt, Robert went to Aaron's plea hearing to find out the truth, telling Victoria he would be able to tell by looking him in the eye. When Aaron pleads not guilty, Robert goads Aaron to tell the truth, only for Aaron to lash out and say he should have done everyone a favour and died, leaving Robert shaken. Once Aaron was released from prison, Robert met with him where Aaron accused him of playing with his head and told him he hated him and nothing he could do would change that, leaving Robert hurt.

On New Year's Eve, Robert finds out Ross shot him as a result of his deal with Andy. Robert angrily confronts Ross with a gun until Debbie and Andy walk in. Robert tells Debbie what Ross did and she decides to leave the village the next day with the kids, leaving Andy and Ross devastated. Andy angrily confronts Robert, telling him he wins again. Robert, who had only wanted to get revenge on Ross, didn't think Andy would lose his kids as a result and feels guilty.

2016: Aaron's abuse, Andy's exit and Hotten Bypass pile-up[]

Episode 7402

Robert takes Aaron to hospital

In January 2016, noticing that Aaron is feeling under pressure, Robert learns he is running away after learning about his parents Gordon and Chas reconciliation by reading the note left by Aaron. He chases and confronts Aaron when he is trying to get into a car to escape. Aaron collapses in Robert's arms and Robert anxiously rushes him to the hospital. Aaron develops sepsis, an infection in his self-harm wound. Robert tries to get through to Aaron to find out why he is self-harming again and Aaron lets slip that it is because of his father. Aaron soon goes missing from his ward. Robert then finds Aaron hiding in Debbie's house shortly after. Robert is shocked when Aaron breaks down and reveals that Gordon raped him as a child. The next day, Robert comes face to face with Gordon in the pub. Still left disgusted following Aaron's confession, Robert furiously told Gordon he knows what he did to Aaron and threatening him to leave town or he will finish him off.

In February 2016, Robert is worried for Aaron after learning from Adam that Chas has kicked him out. He goes to the pub and tells Chas that Aaron is in an exceptionally bad state and that she needs to talk to him. After speaking to Cain, Chas visits him, he tells her that Aaron has been cutting himself because of Gordon but refused to tell her what Gordon did to Aaron. Later, Robert finds out that Aaron has finally told Chas about his sexual abuse but Aaron still refused to go to the police. However, after encouragement from the family, Aaron works up the courage to report Gordon, later taking time away to collect his thoughts. Chas enlists Robert's help to speed things up but grows impatient and vandalises Gordon's car by spraying "Paedo" on it. Robert explains that this is not helping and takes her home. Robert manages to track down Aaron's stepmother Sandra Livesy who has changed her surname to Flaherty, in an attempt to get Sandra to help. Arriving there, Aaron needs some time to pluck up the courage to say what he needs so he and Robert talk a walk which leads to them reconnecting, but they agree to take things slow. A young thief tries to make off with Aaron's wallet and Robert gives chase, resulting in him taking a knee to the groin, later learning that the thief is Aaron's half-sister Liv Flaherty. Robert and Aaron are shocked when Sandra refuses to help, as it prevents the case from making it to court.

Episode 7436

Robert pays Ryan Harred to act as a victim of Gordon's rape.

The next day, the police inform Aaron that another male victim has come forward, which is later revealed to be a man Robert had paid. After Gordon accuses Chas of paying Ryan, Robert confesses to Chas. Two days later, Ryan arrives at the pub to see Robert - he wants out of the deal but Robert explains he is helping to put Gordon in jail. Aaron walks in as Robert pays Ryan. Robert tries to lie to Aaron about Ryan but is forced to admit Ryan is the second 'victim'. Hours later, Chas confesses to Aaron that Robert has paid Ryan to lie to the police. Robert tries to explain to Aaron that he did it for him get justice, but Aaron is left upset and furious. Aaron tells him if the case falls apart, he will blame it on him. A couple of weeks later, Robert goes to Gordon's plea hearing to support Aaron. Gordon turns up, pretends to be ill and then collapses as Aaron, Robert, Lisa, Belle and Chas watch in horror.

Whilst this is going on, Robert learns that Chrissie has begun a relationship with his brother Andy. This riles Robert but also irritates Aaron as Robert's attention is elsewhere when he needs him the most. A week later, Aaron tells Robert not to go to the trial but the next day, Robert went to court and he stood as a witness. Robert insisted Aaron wouldn't lie about something of this magnitude and admits to the court of his feelings for him. The next day, Robert arrived at court again to support Aaron and watched Gordon and Liv take to the stand. Later, Robert tells Aaron he is over Andy and Chrissie and he is changed man. While they are alone, Robert insists to Aaron that he will keep trying to be better. Aaron wants to be able to trust Robert again. Robert promises he will not let Aaron down and they share a tender kiss. The next day, Gordon found guilty of rape by the jury. At the village, Robert comforts Aaron who is worried that Gordon going to prison won't help him to forget what he did but Robert encourages him to be happy.

After the first night he stays over at The Woolpack, Chas is elated to see him at breakfast the following morning, and him and Aaron discuss taking a trip somewhere to get away from it all. He later turns up with two tickets for them to go to Barcelona for the weekend and is disheartened when they can't go due to Liv turning up, wanting to stay at the Woolpack with Aaron.

Gordon's Trial (2016)

Robert supports Liv and Aaron at Gordon's sentencing.

When Pete Barton is released from prison, he gives Robert a letter to Aaron from Gordon. Robert tells Adam about the letter and he suggests that Robert gives it to Aaron. However, Robert burns the letter after Aaron says he wants nothing more to do with Gordon. Robert discovers Liv has skipped school to go to Gordon's sentencing and he goes to court to find her. Robert also calls Aaron, who turns up and decides to stay to see Gordon receive a sentence of 18 years imprisonment. Robert panics when Gordon tells Aaron about the letter and quickly rushes Aaron and Liv out of court. When Aaron asked about it Robert told him Gordon was lying, but Aaron soon discovered that Robert had gotten rid of Gordon's letter. Aaron and Liv are informed that Gordon was found dead in his prison cell and Aaron blames Robert for not giving him the letter, in which Gordon had admitted his intention to commit suicide. Aaron, Chas and Cain believe Robert was involved in Gordon's death, but DS Wise informs them that Gordon had hung himself. Aaron apologises to Robert, who explains that he was trying to protect him. The next day, Aaron and Liv are surprised to learn Gordon had left them £250,000 each in his will. Robert and Charity talk about Aaron's decision to walk away from Gordon's money, unaware that Aaron was listening. Aaron walks in and angrily confronts Robert, calling him manipulative and controlling. Robert tried to apologise but Aaron refused to listen, telling Robert that he will never change and orders him to stay away from him. Devastated, Robert leaves, however, the next day, Robert went to see Aaron, telling him he'll never stop looking out for him and Liv. He asserts that the inheritance will be useful for Liv's future and Aaron also convinces Liv to accept her share.

A couple of weeks later, Liv accused Robert of sending cruel messages posing as Gordon. Robert denied it, upset that she thought he'd want to hurt her like that. They attended Gordon's funeral but unable to handle it, Liv ran off and Robert went after her. Robert tells Liv about how he watched his own dad's funeral from a distance and gently tells her it's OK to be sad. They finally bond and agree to get on for Aaron's sake. Later, at the pub, Robert was arrested for perverting the course of justice after Liv convinced Ryan to go to the police about Robert paying him. Liv tells Aaron she tried to call off the deal but it was too late. The next day, Robert returned and admits to Aaron that his fears about going to prison and wonders who got Ryan to tell the police, quickly realising it was Liv. Robert is furious to learn Aaron already knew and Aaron tried to explain that he only found out after Robert was arrested. Robert left upset, reasoning that Aaron had effectively chosen Liv over him. Robert later found out Liv had left when Aaron was not around. When he found her, Liv later explained that she tried to stop Ryan from going to the police, but it was too late. Robert told her he might go to prison but he attributed that to the karma for his wrongdoings.

In July 2016, Aaron asked Robert to move in with him and soon after, Robert revealed to Aaron the truth about who shot him. In the weeks following Andy's arrest for Lawrence's shooting, Robert vowed to help his brother out. With Rakesh's help, Andy escaped from prison and he is rescued by Robert who finds him after a bitter confrontation with Chrissie who framed him out of revenge. Andy feels he has no choice but to go on the run, so Robert brings Andy a fake passport and family photos. The two brothers finally put their differences aside and fighting back tears, they embrace and Robert watches his brother drive away for good.

Aaron and Robert crash

Aaron and Robert drive into the quarry.

Robert wants to commit to Aaron and asks Paddy for his blessing. Although Paddy isn't happy about it, he agrees not to interfere with their relationship. After overhearing a conversation between Robert and his former sister-in-law Rebecca White, Lachlan spitefully tells Aaron about Robert's fling which occurred years before. This leads to a heated discussion between the couple in which Robert finally admits he is bisexual. Leaving Lachlan in the boot of Aaron's car, they take a walk through a nearby forest where Robert opens up about his relationship with Jack, and how his father caught him with a boy when he was 15. Robert insists Jack didn't want a son like him so he buried his feelings, but now he just wants to be himself. They share a tender kiss and Robert is about to propose before remembering he left the ring in the car. While driving, another heated discussion leads to Robert blurting out that he was going to propose. At this point, they are rapidly approaching the huge Hotten Bypass car pile-up and so Aaron swerves to the left, crashing into a water-filled quarry. Robert manages to save Aaron from the submerged car but he is taken to hospital where he is taken into surgery. Robert heads back to the quarry to retrieve the ring. As Robert, Chas and Liv keep vigil at his bedside, Aaron comes round and accepts Robert's proposal.

Robert and Aaron prepare for Lachlan's plea hearing, discussing the possibility of finally clearing Andy's name. Robert reiterates that even though his underhand tactics against Chrissie may not be agreeable, all he really wants is to get Andy home. Back at the pub, Aaron informs Robert that Lachlan pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. The next day, things are still tense between them and Charity and Chas moan about the couple's constant bickering as well as how overcrowded the pub is, which prompts Liv to ask Aaron and Robert why they can't get their own place. Robert learns that The Mill is up for auction. Liv offers to chip in using her inheritance but Aaron flat out refuses to use Gordon's money. Robert tells Aaron that having some security is just what Liv needs and the move would be good for them all.

2017: Split from Aaron & becoming a father[]

Robert attends Lachlan's trial with Diane, Victoria and Bernice where they express their disgust at Chrissie for not admitting to framing Andy and letting her son take the fall for everything. Lachlan is acquitted of attempted murder but the judge reminds the teen that he had already pleaded guilty to perjury and is therefore remanded in custody until his sentencing, leaving the Whites in shock and the Sugdens delighted with the result.

Following a suggestion from Charity, Robert and Aaron decide to have a secret wedding in Vegas. However, the next day, Robert is celebrating a business deal with Rebecca when Aaron bursts in. Fed up with his insecurity and jealousy, this leads to a heated argument between the pair, after which Robert tells Aaron he can't do this anymore and removes his engagement ring. Later that night, after a chat with Vic, Robert tells Aaron he doesn't want to give up on them but they are interrupted by the police. To Robert's dismay, Aaron is arrested for attacking Kasim. The next day, Robert is angry to learn it was Finn who called the police on Aaron. Aaron is released on bail and offers Robert the chance to walk away for good but Robert promises to stick by him. Robert admits to Chas about his and Aaron's plans to elope before Aaron got arrested. Later, Aaron returns from the police station after giving a second interview and informs Robert of his impending court date. Robert promises to support him no matter what happens. Their argument from before is forgotten about and they make up.

Episode 7754

Robert and Aaron marry in an unofficial ceremony.

Robert is concerned about Aaron when he suffers a panic attack brought on by stress of his upcoming trial. After confiding in Chas, Robert wants to make sure Aaron and Liv feel more secure and decides he wants to marry Aaron the next day. The next morning, with the help of his family, Liv and the rest of the Dingles, Robert sets up the wedding in the Woolpack. Aaron is thrilled when Robert springs the surprise on him but just as the service gets underway, the police turn up looking for Faith. Upset, Robert walks off and Aaron follows him to the garage. Robert laments that he wanted this day to be perfect but Aaron assures him it doesn't matter and produces the rings. They exchange their vows in private and then return to the pub where they are congratulated by their family and friends. Later that night, Aaron slips away from the party and apologises to Robert for messing up and having to leave him; Robert understands Aaron's fears and gently assures him however long he's gone for, it'll pass and he'll wait for him. The next day, Aaron is sentenced to 12 months in prison. Robert is devastated and swears to appeal. Paddy soon comes to see him and the two men finally reach an understanding over their mutual love for Aaron. When Liv later asks Robert if he's going to send her away to her mum in Ireland, Robert gently assures her she's not going anywhere and hugs her close.

Robert visits Aaron in prison where the pair struggle to hide their feelings for each other. They make small talk and Robert gently squeezes Aaron's leg under the table which is unfortunately seen by Aaron's homophobic inmate Jason. The next day, Robert is dismayed to learn from Chas that the other inmates worked out Aaron's sexuality after their intimate moment was spotted. Robert visits Aaron again and apologises for the trouble he caused but Aaron assures him he's fine. Later that evening Robert reports back to Chas that Aaron seems to be handling things and per his advice, tells her to visit Sarah in Prague assuring his mother in law he can handle things while she's away.

Robert is furious to discover someone has vandalised The Mill with cruel slurs about Aaron. After some coercion from Vic, Robert admits he's been spending his nights on the Woolpack sofa because he can't face sleeping in the bed without Aaron. Vic advises her brother to share his problems with Aaron when he calls. Later, Liv and Robert get a phone call from Aaron but Robert finds himself unable to open up. The next day, after taking Liv to visit Aaron, Robert is worried when Paddy tells him that Aaron has been fighting and that an argument occurred between the two siblings. Robert gently tries to get Liv to open up to him but she assures him everything's fine.

Robert learns that a date has been set for Aaron's appeal but his good mood soon disappears when the school sends him a fine for Liv's frequent truancy. The next day, Robert admits to Adam and Victoria he is feeling increasingly out of his depth and is at a loss when Liv is expelled for coming to Gabby's defence and punching another student. Rebecca offers to look after her while Robert visits Aaron in prison. Later, Robert returns extremely agitated about not being allowed to see Aaron due to an "incident". Robert is shocked and angry when Liv admits to him that Aaron has been taking drugs. He goes to the prison to seek answers and is dismayed by Aaron's attitude.

Episode 7775

Robert drunkenly sleeps with Rebecca

He tries to remind Aaron of their future with Liv but is met with indifference. Thinking his marriage is over, Robert downs a bottle of whiskey before trashing The Mill and texts Rebecca to come over. After initially rebuffing Robert's drunken attempt to kiss her, they fall into bed together. The next day, Rebecca comes to find Robert; he tells her he made a mistake and begs her not to tell Aaron. Furious, Rebecca threatens to do as she pleases. Later, Robert confesses his infidelity to Chas who slaps him before going to Home Farm and doing the same to Rebecca, warning her to stay away from Aaron.

Robert and Chas learn that Aaron's appeal has been successful and he will be released in a few weeks. They head to prison together and after Aaron apologises for the way he spoke to him during his last visit, Robert steels himself to confess about Rebecca but Chas suddenly interjects, saying he only trashed the new flat. Back at the pub, Chas tells Robert she only covered for him for Aaron's sake and warns him to make sure Rebecca doesn't say anything. When Liv learns Sandra has been injured while on holiday, Chas offers to take her abroad to see her. Robert pays for their flights and accommodation but before she departs, Chas asks him to look after Aaron, warning him if he hurts her son, she will reveal all about Rebecca.

The following week, Robert goes to collect Aaron. After waiting nervously outside the prison gates, they are reunited and share an emotional embrace. Back at the village, Rebecca gatecrashes Aaron and Sarah's coming home party and Robert is anxious when he sees her talking to Aaron who then quickly makes a sharp exit. Fearing Rebecca has told Aaron what happened between them, Robert follows Aaron outside and discovers him having a panic attack. He tries to comfort him but is shocked when Aaron suddenly punches him in the face. Robert starts to apologise and is confused when Aaron says sorry for hitting him. They head to the Mill together and Robert is devastated to learn about what happened to Aaron when he was in prison and the effect Gordon still has on him. Robert gently assures Aaron he'll get through this and promises to get him help for his problems.

When Aaron is upset about not being able to support Liv, Robert decides to take him on a picnic to cheer him up. They have a great time together but on the way back to the village they are shocked to overhear Rebecca is pregnant. Panicking that it may be his, Robert later seeks her out and is distraught when she tells him he's the father. He soon regains his composure, demanding Rebecca to have an abortion and threatens her not to say a word to Aaron. Later, he supports Aaron at his first counselling session. The next day, Robert meets Rebecca outside the abortion clinic and is frustrated when she tells him she has to wait another month before anything can be done. Ross witnesses their confrontation and deducing the situation, blackmails Robert for £5000 to keep his silence. Panicking, Robert suggests to Aaron that they leave for a while to visit Chas and Liv.

Episode 7834

Robert confesses his infidelity to Aaron

Robert and Aaron return a month later and move into the Mill. During an intimate moment, Robert finally breaks down and confesses everything to Aaron, leaving him devastated. Reeling from the betrayal, Aaron removes his ring and orders Robert to leave. Later that evening, Aaron asks Robert to come back to the house so they can talk and they agree to start again. However, they are left reeling when they learn Rebecca is still pregnant having decided against an abortion. The next day, Chrissie informs Robert that Rebecca has left the village and Robert is satisfied it's for the best.

Robert and Aaron are unsettled when Rebecca returns to the village and announces she'll be staying with Victoria. A few weeks later, Aaron despondently tells Robert he can't deal with things anymore, ending their relationship and hands back his wedding ring, leaving Robert heartbroken. In the aftermath of his split from Aaron, Robert decides to take revenge on the Whites and seize Home Farm for himself.

Robert is distraught when he finds Liv unconscious after drinking from Lawrence's spiked brandy. He rushes her to hospital and admits to Aaron what happened. Aaron is furious and threatens to kill Robert if she doesn't pull through, leaving him shaken. Liv recovers quickly and sets Aaron up on a date with a handsome doctor as Robert watches on heartbroken. Unable to deal with Aaron seemingly moving on with his life, Robert steps up his revenge against the Whites by pretending to bond with Lawrence, getting him drunk and tricking him into believing they slept together, leaving his former father in law horrified. In exchange for Robert's silence, Lawrence agrees to meet an investor called Kath who is actually an actor hired by Robert.

When Tim Richards turns up demanding money, Robert sees an opportunity to ingratiate himself to the Whites. He instructs Tim to drive full speed at Chrissie and pulls her to safety just in time. Later, Robert pays Tim off to disappear for good but tells Lawrence that he murdered him in order to protect the family. Lawrence though horrified, is extremely grateful for Robert's help, and covers for him when the police ask questions, playing right into Robert's hands. To his surprise, Lawrence finds himself falling for his former son in law. Robert continues to manipulate Lawrence's feelings for him and a seething Lachlan walks in as they are about to kiss. Frustrated, Lawrence throws his grandson out, leaving Robert gloating. Robert overhears Lachlan threatening to kill Lawrence while he's passed out on the sofa and confronts him, believing he now has leverage over the unstable teen. However the next day, Lachlan lures Robert out of the village and menacingly threatens to kill him unless he starts showing him respect, leaving Robert shaken.

Lawrence asks Robert to meet him in Hotten on the pretence of a business meeting. Robert arrives at the hotel and is horrified when his former father in law admits it is ruse and expresses his wish to sleep with him. Robert is saved from his advances when Vic phones to tell him Rebecca has gone into labour. They arrive at the hospital in time to see Rebecca give birth to a healthy baby boy, who she names Sebastian White. Robert instantly falls in love with his son.

Episode 7986

Robert and baby Seb

Filled with shame and remorse for his behaviour over the past few months, Robert plans to leave the village. The next day, Aaron finds him at the scrapyard packing his things. The two men have a heart to heart and Robert comes clean about his schemes as well as his belief that his son would be better off without him. Gutted by his husband's admission, Aaron shames Robert for intending to abandon his child which ultimately gives him the incentive to step up. Robert returns to Home Farm and shares a tender moment alone with his son, promising to be the best dad he can be. Lachlan seethes when Lawrence offers Robert 10% shares of Home Farm and warns his former stepfather he's going to destroy him, leaving Robert feeling uneasy. Robert is left shaken when Rebecca confronts him about his Rug Tree Bonds scam. He begs for forgiveness, telling her that being a father has changed him. Rebecca orders him to sign back his shares to the company and bans him from ever seeing Seb again, leaving Robert broken. When Lachlan sets Robert up to make it look as though he had kidnapped Seb, Rebecca snaps and tells a shocked Chrissie and Lawrence about Robert's schemes. When they confront him, Robert admits the truth regarding the set up with Tim and the fact he didn’t sleep with Lawrence. Robert is devastated when Chrissie informs him Rebecca has left the village with Seb. On Christmas Eve, Robert attempts to reason with the Whites and asks them to pass on some presents to Seb but they give him the cold shoulder. Later,

Episode 8023

Robert in hospital

Robert struggles as Aaron enjoys a date with Alex and after making a fool of himself in the pub he stumbles out into the night where he is accidentally knocked down by Lawrence. Robert wakes up in hospital and after taking a long hard look at himself, he makes the heartbreaking decision to finally let go of Aaron and focus on being a good dad to Seb. Rebecca, who had sneaked back into the village with Seb on Christmas Eve, stands by her decision not to allow Robert access to his son.

2018: Whites' fatal crash, reunion/wedding to Aaron and Lachlan's killer secret[]

In January Robert became increasingly suspicious of the Whites and hired an investigator to see what they were hiding from him. He was furious to learn that they were secretly planning on emigrating to Australia with Seb. With Victoria's help, Robert managed to snatch his son back and drove away but the Whites quickly gave chase. However, events took a devastating turn when Lachlan finally snapped and grabbed the steering wheel, swerving them into a head-on collision with a lorry. Robert immediately stopped and called the emergency services but both Lawrence and Chrissie died from their injuries. Rebecca was rushed to hospital after losing blood and was put into an induced coma while Lachlan walked away relatively unscathed.

Episode 8042

Robert and Seb visit Rebecca in hospital

Robert struggled with his duties as a full-time dad as Rebecca recovered in hospital. Aaron supported him by offering to look after Seb and a highly charged moment between them on Valentine's Day almost resulted in a kiss leaving Robert hopeful that they could try again but his hopes were dashed after seeing Alex seemingly move in with Aaron on what would have been their wedding anniversary, so Robert decided he needed to move on and headed out to a gay bar with Vic and a group of women from the village. However, when Aaron turned up, Robert abruptly left and headed home. Aaron found him at the garage reminiscing about their wedding day and told Robert he broke up with Alex because he couldn’t deny his feelings anymore. They reflected on everything that happened in the past year, how Aaron's feelings towards Seb had changed and he wanted a chance to prove it. Robert was overwhelmed but he rejected Aaron, fearing he would lose him again. Undeterred, Aaron told Robert he knows how much he has changed and wants to be with him. Unable to deny their feelings any longer, the two men finally reconciled and shared a passionate embrace. The next day, Robert and Liv had a much-needed heart to heart and she welcomed him back to the family.

Robert moved back into Mill Cottage with Aaron and Liv. Shortly after, Rebecca was diagnosed with Executive Dysfunction as a result of her injuries from the crash and she asked Robert and Aaron to look after Seb full-time. When Aaron was kidnapped for ransom by Syd McFarlane, Robert sold his shares in Home James to Joe Tate as well as Mill Cottage in order to raise the funds and ensure his husband's safety. However, the next day when a gloating Joe brought over the contracts for him to sign, Robert defiantly ripped up the one for The Mill and agreed to work as an employee for Jimmy King until he found a way to win back his shares in the business.

Liv was sentenced to serve time in a youth detention facility after accidentally spiking Lisa with ketamine. Robert and Aaron were unable to appeal and soon discovered that prior to her sentencing, Liv had been hiding the fact she’d become increasingly dependent on alcohol to cope. Aaron tried blaming himself but Robert assured him it wasn’t his fault and is determined to help Liv. A few weeks later, Robert and Aaron welcome Liv home from the detention facility and they promised to get through things as a family.


Robert and Aaron get engaged at the lay-by where they first kissed

In July Lachlan sabotaged the boiler at Mill Cottage, exposing carbon monoxide fumes and leaving Robert and Liv to die but they were saved just in time by Aaron. While Liv was adamant that Lachlan was to blame for what happened, due to having a heated exchange with him prior to the incident, Robert and Aaron were unconvinced. Robert and Aaron got engaged for a second time after they proposed to each other at the lay-by where they shared their first kiss and Robert asked Aaron if he would like to adopt Seb once they got married and Aaron agreed.

In September Robert was shaken to discover that Lachlan caused the crash that killed Lawrence and Chrissie as well as the death of Gerry Roberts and the carbon monoxide leak at Mill Cottage. After listening to his former stepson confess his crimes, a struggle ensued and an armed Lachlan drove away with Belle. Robert and Ross headed off in pursuit but Belle, who had managed to escape, got hit by Robert's car. Armed police arrived at the scene and Lachlan was taken into custody but not before hinting he knew where Rebecca was, leaving Robert concerned for her welfare. After demanding her location from Lachlan, Robert was relieved when Rebecca returned to the village after enduring weeks of captivity at the hands of her deranged nephew but for Seb's safety, he urged her to recover from her ordeal before spending time alone with their son.

Episode 8278

Aaron and Robert get married

In October Robert supported Aaron following the death of his baby sister Grace Dingle, and a few days later, they got married in a romantic outdoor ceremony surrounded by their family and friends. At the reception, several emotional toasts were made and after the celebrations, the newlyweds headed off on their honeymoon. A few weeks later, Rebecca announced her intention to move to Liverpool with Ross and Seb. Furious, Robert and Aaron refused to hand Seb over, stating he was better off with them and Rebecca reluctantly backed out of her plans but after seeing how unhappy she was, Robert made the heartbreaking decision to let his son go. Robert struggled without Seb around and was initially reluctant when Aaron suggested they have a child of their own. However, he soon had a change of heart and they decided to look into surrogacy together.

2019: Surrogacy journey, Victoria's rape and imprisonment[]

In a bid to take back his shares in the haulage company and secure the funds for his and Aaron's surrogacy plans, Robert teamed up with Nicola King to embezzle money from Home Farm. The plan appeared to work for a number of weeks until Graham Foster discovered their fraudulent activities but rather than report them, he ordered Nicola to turn the tables on Robert by emptying the company accounts and leaving him penniless. His plans in tatters, Robert furiously confronted Graham over his callous actions and assured Aaron they would still find a way to raise the money.

After a few initial setbacks, Robert was excited to finally get a lucrative contract for the haulage company which he hoped would not only get the business back on track but also fund the surrogacy. His excitement was short-lived when he learnt that Aaron went behind his back and took his cash deposit to try and secure the services of a surrogate named Lucie who refused. The husbands had a blazing row about their different approaches and Robert was gutted when Aaron almost gave up on their dream of having a child. However, the next day, Robert was relieved when Aaron came to his senses and the couple agreed to put their plans on hold in order to focus on their relationship.

In April, Robert and Aaron attended a meeting where they met a young woman called Natalie, and after getting to know each other, were delighted when she agreed to be their surrogate. However, things soon took a devastating turn when Victoria admitted she was raped on a group night out and was now pregnant as a result. Robert was heartbroken when he learnt of her ordeal and vowed to bring her attacker Lee Posner to justice. He agreed with Aaron to put their surrogacy plans on hold once again so he could look after his sister. The siblings left the village for a few weeks so Vic could get some respite.

Episode 8507

Robert's posters

After returning from their break, Robert was horrified when Vic informed him and Diane she had decided to keep the baby. Knowing it would be a constant reminder of the attack, Robert struggled to support his sister's decision but after a heart to heart with Aaron, he agreed it was Vic's choice to make. However, when the police informed Victoria they could not pursue an investigation against Lee due to lack of evidence, Robert was furious and set out to get revenge. Robert tracked down Lee to his place of work and when he failed to get a confession out of him, he distributed posters publicly branding him as a rapist. After Lee discovered Vic's pregnancy and began harassing her further, Robert paid Dawn Taylor to lure Lee into a honey trap in order to expose his true colours. However, Aaron was appalled at the plan and they quickly set off to rescue her. When Lee realised he'd been set up, he threatened to make Vic's life hell, leaving Robert seething and more determined than ever to take him down. After Lee turned up demanding money and a public apology from Victoria, Robert finally snapped and attacked him, beating him over the head with a shovel and putting him in a coma. The police informed Robert if Lee did not regain consciousness, he would be charged with attempted murder or worse.

A week later, just as Robert and Aaron were attempting to get their surrogacy plans back on track, Lee came out of his coma and accused Robert of attacking him first. Upon hearing this, Natalie withdrew from their agreement, leaving the couple heartbroken. Later at police station, instead of a GBH charge, Robert was told by his solicitor that he was going to be charged with GBH With Intent. Robert was distraught to learn he was facing life imprisonment but he chose to keep the truth from Aaron and his family, telling them he was charged with GBH and made them think he was looking at a year long sentence. Aaron started noticing that Robert was hiding something and after Cain found out he was possibly facing a life sentence he demanded he told his husband the truth. However, on 28th August 2019, just as Robert tried to tell him, Liv suffered a seizure and had to be taken to hospital. Liv recovered but noticing the tension, she demanded Robert tell them what was going on. Subsequently, Robert revealed the truth to Aaron, Liv, Diane and Victoria who were at first furious he'd lied but decided to stick together and, if the worse were to happen, enjoy their time together for as long as they could.

Episode 8586

Robert pleads guilty in court

In September 2019, Robert was annoyed when his solicitor advised him to plead guilty on his plea hearing as his case was rather weak and he risked a longer sentence if he lost in court, and he would possibly get a 5-year sentence if he pleaded guilty, but Robert refused. However, after seeing how hard things were on Victoria he decided to plead guilty after all. This caused some turmoil in his relationship with Aaron who struggled to understand why he would just give up like that.

In October 2019, Robert was horrified when Lee died as a result of his injuries and felt he had no choice but to go on the run with Aaron. After a few hasty goodbyes, the couple left the village. However, after realising how much his husband would be giving up, Robert handed himself in to the police and was arrested and charged with murder,

Episode 8637

Robert takes his last farewell of Aaron

leaving Aaron devastated. The following week, Robert appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 14 years. A week into his sentencing, on 1st November, Robert was told he was being transferred to a prison on the Isle of Wight. Distraught, Robert decided not to tell Aaron when he visited him and held his husband tightly for the last time before breaking down in his cell and remembering the good times he had shared with the man he loved.


Pat Sugden[]

Robert did not have much of a relationship with his mother Pat due to her death in a car accident when he was only four months old. Due to being so young when his mum died, Robert had no memories of her.

Sarah Sugden[]

Sarah came into Robert's life when he was two years old and was very close to her and came to consider her his mother.

Jack Sugden[]

Robert and Jack were quite close, especially after Jackie's death in 1989. However, when the Sugdens adopted Robert's friend Andy Hopwood, Robert began to become estranged from his family. When Robert's adopted mother Sarah Sugden was killed unintentionally in a barn fire started by Andy, Robert began to change for the worse and became rebellious as he sought revenge. As a consequence, Robert's relationship with Jack became estranged, having been disowned by his father numerous times prior to Robert's departure in 2005. Robert returned for Jack's funeral in 2009 choosing to stay out of sight, until Andy spotted him and begged him to come home but Robert refused.

Andy Sugden[]

When Andy Hopwood was adopted Robert began to become estranged from his family. Following Andy's part in Sarah's death, their relationship became worse and a feud began between the brothers as Robert sought revenge. At one point, Robert had an affair with Andy's wife Katie.

Victoria Barton[]

Robert had been very protective of his little sister, Victoria, and they have a close relationship.

Chrissie White[]

When Robert returns to the village in 2014, he arrives with his fiancée, Chrissie. They later marry in February 2015 but their marriage falls apart after it comes to light that Robert has been having an affair with Aaron Dingle.

Aaron Dingle[]

Robert's relationship with Aaron Dingle was on and off since December 2014. They eventually got married in October 2018. Following Robert's imprisonment in 2019, he filed for divorce, leaving Aaron devastated.


During his teen years, Robert helped his father out on the farm. He later became a mechanic and worked for Scott Windsor. Before being imprisoned, he most recently worked for the company he previously owned, Home James Haulage which operates from the same office as his ex-husband's company Holey Scrap.

Employment history[]

Role Institution Duration
Mechanic Windsors 2003 to 2003
Co-Owner Windsor & Dingle 2004 to 2nd October 2005
Estate Manager Home Farm Estate Late 2014 to Mid 2016
Investor Holey Scrap Early 2015 to present
Co-Owner Home James Haulage Early 2016 to 5th April 2018
Estate Manager Home Farm Estate Mid 2017 to late 2017
Employee Home James Haulage 5th April 2018 to October 2019


Address Duration
Emmerdale Farm 22nd April 1986 to 1st September 1988
Italy 1st September 1988 to 9th November 1989
3 Demdyke Row 9th November 1989 to 25th December 1989
Emmerdale Farm 25th December 1989 to 9th February 1993
Ben's house 9th February 1993 to March 1993
The Woolpack March to April 1993
Hawthorn Cottage April 1993 to 2nd January 1997
Tenant House 7th January 1997 to May 1997
Melby Farm May 1997 to 2001
Tenant House 2001 to 12th March 2004
Butlers Farm 12th March 2004 to 22nd April 2004
Tenant House 22nd April 2004 to 5th May 2004
The Grange 5th May 2004 to 16th May 2004
Caravan on outskirts of Emmerdale 16th May 2004 to 3rd June 2004
Tenant House 3rd June 2004 to 31st July 2005
Connelton View 31st July 2005 to 2nd October 2005
Home Farm November 2014 to 2015
Keepers Cottage November 2015 to July 2016
The Woolpack 21st July 2016 to May 2017
Flat 1, Mill Cottage May to July 2017
Keepers Cottage August 2017 to February 2018
Flat 1, Mill Cottage February 2018 to October 2019
HMP Hotten October to November 2019
HMP Rightworth, Isle of Wight November 2019 to present

Other information[]

Background information[]

  • Christopher Smith was axed from the role of Robert in May 2001 after twelve years as a result of ITV wanting an older actor cast in order to involve the character in more adult storylines. Karl Davies was subsequently cast in the role, and as a result, Christopher sued Yorkshire Television for unfair dismissal.
  • In October 2005, Karl Davies was also axed from the role of Robert. Charlie Kemp was axed from the role of Max King, and producers decided to write out Robert as well.
  • In September 2014 it was confirmed that Robert would be returning but not played by Davies. It was revealed that the role had been recast, with Ryan Hawley taking over.
  • In June 2019, it was confirmed that Ryan Hawley had quit the role of Robert. He told OK! magazine: "It's been a busy year I feel like I haven't stopped. It would be nice to have a bit of a break and slow things down. But I think we're going to be quite busy later in the year as well."


"Yeah, no problem, thanks. Lived here all me life." - First line spoken by Karl Davies as Robert.

"Why don't you just get back to your pathetic little farm, Andy? Where are you gonna be in ten years, eh? Twenty years? Scratching about for a living on your own except for your half dozen kids by as many thick girls, who are still too smart to put up with you for the rest of their life. You might as well top yourself now, save hanging round." - To Andy Sugden after a fight.

"I'll never forget you." - Final line spoken by Karl Davies as Robert, as he places a rose on his dad's grave.

"Diane. Victoria. Miss me?" - First line spoken by Ryan Hawley as Robert.

"Hey, don't get cold feet, you'll make me think I fell for a quitter" - to Aaron Dingle when Robert lets slip that he's fallen for him)

"You're not going anywhere!" - to Katie Sugden before pushing her through rotten floorboards.

"What is it about you, me and country roads, eh?" - to Andy after he rescues him in August 2016.

"I care about you more than I care about myself, and that's a lot.” - to Aaron on Christmas Day in 2017.

"I’ve missed you, Mr Sugden." - to Aaron when they reunite in February 2018.

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. Promise me you’ll never forget.” - to Aaron during his final episode in November 2019.

“Goodbye, Aaron.” - Last line spoken by Ryan Hawley as Robert.


See also[]

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