Sally Spode, a vicar's wife, first arrived in August 2009. An ex-girlfriend of Ashley Thomas, he is surprised to see Sally married to Vincent Spode, a fellow vicar and Ashley's one-time rival. She reveals that she and Vincent have recently returned from doing conservation work in Mozambique. Sally does not like her husband's boasting and his rivalry with Ashley. At the cricket match, suggested by the Bishop, Vincent's team wins.
Sally later arrived in Emmerdale, revealing she had left her husband and moved in with Ashley and Laurel. After a few days, however, Laurel contacted Vincent - hoping to get the couple back together. Vincent arrived and confronted his wife who claimed he abused her. Angry, Vincent lashed out at Ashley, proving that he can be violent. Sally refused to call the police, claiming, apart from her, all he had was the church. She said if she did, he will lose that. The same day, she decided to leave, believing she was causing trouble between Ashley and Laurel. They reassured her and convinced her to stay, saying they would protect her if Vincent came looking for her again. It later emerged Sally was lying about the violence as a way of getting closer to Ashley.
On 5 November, Sally watched as an ember from the bonfire set fire to Laurel's coat, only springing into action when she saw Marlon approaching. Sally appeared the hero when she threw her coat onto the flames. Laurel was fine but her coat was ruined. A week later, during an argument with Laurel in the church, Sally locked Laurel in. Later, a heater set fire to a curtain and it soon spread. Laurel couldn't get out as the doors were locked. Zak Dingle raised the alarm and rescued her, rushing her to hospital with smoke inhalation. When she was sleeping, after being discharged, Sally was considering smothering her with a cushion until Nicola King knocked on the door. Laurel's suspicion of Sally grew in early December when she started piecing together details of the fire and did not remember locking the door or moving the heater so close to the curtain. She told Nicola what she suspected, the police and Ashley. Unfortunately only Nicola believed her but Ashley blamed her state of mind on the trauma of surviving the fire. On Sally's advice, Ashley contacted a psychiatrist but Laurel threw Sally out. Later that night, Sally virtually admitted the truth so Laurel gave Ashley an ultimatum - either Sally left or she did. Laurel was relieved when she left but was furious when Ashley said Sally had only gone to Edna Birch's. This wasn't good enough so she packed her bags and left the village, with Gabby and Arthur. Gabby returned during the week for school.
Ashley clashed with Laurel's dad, Doug, over the incident. Sally stayed with Edna. Later, Sally made a pass at Ashley and jumped out in front of his car when he decided to leave the village. Having been knocked down, she was visited by Edna and told her that she and Ashley had been sleeping together. On 27th January 2010, Ashley and Edna realised that Sally had been lying and Ashley threatened to kill Sally if she didn't leave voluntarily. Later that day, Terry Woods informed Ashley that Sally has left but he and Edna were shocked to find his house wrecked with 'burn in hell' painted on the wall but Ashley fears that it may be too late to save his marriage.
After stalking Ashley and Laurel in the village for a few weeks, kidnapping Edna's dog, kidnapping Angelica and denting Diane's car when Doug was driving it. Later, in the church, she overheard Ashley and Laurel discussing her going away for a night, so she tricked Ashley into believing her sob-story but drugged Ashley and got him into bed. Ashley tells Laurel what Sally had done and they reported Sally to the police. The next day, Viv tells Laurel that she saw Sally outside the cash and carry, going into a flat. Laurel immediately went there and confronts Sally. Sally has put up pictures of Ashley on the wall. Sally insists that Ashley loves her, not Laurel. She also tells her that she is pregnant with Ashley's child and that she was the one who started the church fire in which Laurel was almost killed. A fight then ensues, resulting in Laurel holding Sally over the balcony, telling her she is going to push her off. As Ashley, Doug, and the police then arrive, Laurel then tells Sally that it would make her as bad as she was if she pushed her off, so drags Sally back over the balcony. Ashley and Doug are relieved that Laurel is alright, while Sally is arrested. It is later revealed by Ashley that Sally was sectioned and declared mentally ill.
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