Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick)’s world came crashing down in Tuesday (September 5)’s Emmerdale when she was raped by her boss and former friend Craig (Ben Addis). But while Lydia was left visibly shocked and devastated by the ordeal, Craig seemed oblivious.
Previously Lydia and Craig had shared a moment of closeness after they visited the final resting place of their son, Toby. Lydia confided in Kim (Claire King) that she felt uneasy about their relationship and was worried that she’d sent out the wrong messages to Craig.
She decided to resign from her job cleaning at his offices and went to deliver the resignation in person. It quickly became clear that Craig had strong feelings for her, even though she told him firmly that she wasn’t interested. ‘I’m married. I’ve got a husband, a son, a life,’ she said.
Since reconnecting with Lydia it seemed that Craig – who admitted he was a lonely man – had built the relationship up in his mind into something it wasn’t. ‘The gods were putting us back in each other’s orbits,’ he said. ‘Or Toby was.’
Craig said he could offer Lydia a life beyond her dreams. ‘The Rolls Royce, the Caribbean island, I can make it all happen. We could make up for all those lost years.’
He told her he loved her and had never stopped loving her, then he lunged at her, ignoring her telling him no and that she didn’t want to, and raped her.
Afterwards it was clear to see that Lydia was traumatised and in shock over what had just happened – but it wasn’t clear to Craig. It was hard to tell whether he genuinely believed that something consensual had happened or whether he was masking his own guilt, but his words to her were horribly cruel as he acted as if what had happened was actually romantic.
‘Funny how things turn out, eh? If you’d told me two days ago that the two of us would…’
Lydia interrupted him, desperately asking if she could go home. He offered to drive her, telling her it was a rough part of town. ‘You don’t want to be out on your own. Anything could happen.’
For Lydia, it already had.
On the drive home Craig was still largely oblivious to Lydia’s silence, and he didn’t see the tears that started to stream down her face. He chatted about giving Samson (Sam Hall) driving lessons in his posh car, and made a remark about almost being done for speeding a few days earlier. He said luckily he’d known the police officer who stopped him.
Will this comment influence whether Lydia chooses to report the rape, thinking that the police are likely to side with Craig?
As they pulled up outside Wishing Well he grabbed her hand. ‘Thank you for today,’ he said as she froze. ‘It was really special.’ He said he wouldn’t dream of saying anything to Sam (James Hooton).
‘We’ll just keep this between us.’
You can find information and support surrounding sexual violence and abuse here.
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