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Aidan Critchley is a fictional character and supporting antagonist of the ITV British Soap Opera Coronation Street. He appeared as the secondary antagonist in 2002 and 2003 until his departure on 16th March 2003.

In his characterisation, Aidan was a wayward schoolboy who had a relationship with established character Sarah Platt and tormented their pupil tutor Ken Barlow during his time on the serial. He soon become central in a storyline where Aidan hijacked Ken's car and went joyriding with Sarah that ultimately led to him crashing the car, which hospilatized Sarah to the point of her nearing dying after Aidan abandoned her in a spur of moment. Thereafter he gradually reformed after being framed by Sarah's stepfather, Richard Hillman, for the attempted murder of local resident Emily Bishop and the killing of fellow neighbour Maxine Peacock.

The character was portrayed by Dean Ashton.

Biography

Aidan Critchley made his first appearence in April 2002; he was an unruly disrespectful student from Weatherfield Comprehensive school. In his class were fellow pupil Sarah Platt, her best-friend Candaice Stowe, and their neighbour Todd Grimshaw.

Over the weeks, it had emerged that Aidan had developed nothing but hostile behaviour towards his teacher Ken Barlow. So much so that he sought to humilate Ken at every chance he got, from mocking his teacher to showing no gratitude to Ken for his efforts to help him. Aidan even wrote a poem with the sole intent to humiliate Ken. At somepoint, Aidan's torment of Ken appeared to have stopped when Ken's son Peter Barlow learned about his father's ordeal; Peter later turned up at Aidan's house to confront him, only to instead encounter his father Bob and ended up threatening him to make Aidan stop in exchange for not hurting them.

By then, Aidan had wooed Sarah into developing a crush on him and soon the pair embarked on a relationship. This was forbidden by Sarah's mother Gail, who quickly disliked Aidan for his cockey attitude and wanted Sarah to stay away from him. Sarah's adopted father and Gail's ex-husband, Martin, soon learned about this and sided with Gail when it becomes clear that Sarah's relationship with Aidan appears to be making her neglect her infant daughter Bethany - whom Sarah had given birth to at the age of 13 just two years ago. Soon enough, Sarah's soon-to-be stepfather Richard Hillman learned about the situation and confronted Aidan. They exchanged words and Aidan tried to be cocky to Richard, but that quickly changed when Richard threatened to put him in hospital should he ever hurt Sarah in anyway when it comes to their relationship going forward; Aidan took Richard's threat seriously and appeared to do his best to do right for Sarah and accomplish Gail's approval of his character.

Months later, however, Aidan continued to hassle Ken as the new year in school commenced. Eventually he decided to take things further by stealing Ken's car and later convinced Sarah to go for a joyride in the vehicle; she reluctantly accepted despite arguing that he could get into trobule for car theft. The joyriding started off well until Aidan attempted to drive faster, which scared Sarah to the point where she wanted him to stop. However, disaster struck when Aidan's actions resulted in him crashing the car; he was left with minor injuries whilst Sarah was unconcious by the impact. When Aidan saw how badly hurt Sarah was, he chose to ran away and leave her for dead rather than help Sarah at the risk of getting himself into trouble; this had proved Aidan to be nothing more than a coward.

Not long after the incident, both Sarah's family and Ken himself learned about what had happened. They all deduced that Aidan caused the crash that resulted in Sarah's hospilatization; in response to this revelation, Gail declared that she wanted Aidan to be severely punished for his actions. Later on that afternoon, Richard and Gail spotted Aidan on the street; Richard chased after Aidan and threatened to kill him before Gail then angrily rebuked Aidan for his actions, though he was able to evade the pair after Richard consoled Gail over the events.

The next day, Aidan was later reported to the police but released with caution. He then taunted Ken saying it's because of liberals like him that he got off scott-free, which resulted in Ken punching Aidan and breaking his nose. Aidan promptly vowed revenge and wanted all the students to back him up, but Candice stated that they are all willing to cover for Ken in retribution for what happened to Sarah - though the teacher confessed what he'd done to the headmaster anyway and reassigned out of guilt. Ken was later arrested for Aidan's assault, but is released on as well. At the same time, Sarah recuperated from hospital and her brother David Platt told her about what Ken did to Aidan after stating that he deserved it for what she had been put through.

In 2003, Aidan is left homeless and attempted to make amends with Sarah - though she breaks up with him and proceeds to move forward by romancing with Todd. Later on one night, Aidan confronts them in The Rovers Return Inn public house and is thrown out by punter Ashley Peacock. That same night, Richard is finalizing his plan kill his client Emily Bishop in order to surmount his dire financial straits - during which Richard sought to frame Aidan for the crime in his bid to avenge Sarah's hospilatization. This appeared to work after Richard drugged Aidan and disguised himself as the latter before breaking into Ashley's house, where Emily is babysitting his son Joshua. At first Richard manages to attack an unsuspecting Emily with a crowbar, but just moments later Ashley's wife and Joshua's mother Maxine Peacock walked in on the incident Richard ended up killing Maxine just before he could finish off Emily, before then being forced to flee the scene.

The following day, Aidan becomes implicated in Maxine's murder and Emily's attack when the police gather evidence that makes them believe Aidan to be responsible for the crime - just as Richard had planned. They break into Aidan's hideout and he quickly attempts to flee, but is apprehended by the officers who inform him about the crime. Aidan is subsuqently arrested as Richard watches on and he is later charged for both murder and attempted murder respectively.

When Ken visits Aidan in prison, he notices that Aidan is under the affects of tranquilizers on the night of the murder. This causes Ken to realize that Aidan couldn't have possibly murdered Maxine or attacked Emily, as he approaches Aidan's father for support. But it is clear to Ken that Aidan's father reckons that his son is responsible for the murder and refuses to help out. At the same time, Sarah also believes that Aidan was innocent while the rest of the street all assume that Aidan is guilty.

It is then that Gail's mother Audrey Roberts, along with her closest allies Archie Shuttlesworth and Norris Cole, all began to suspect that Richard killed Maxine - as the trio were already aware of Richard's other crimes; Richard had previously killed his ex-wife Patricia Hillman, left his business partner Duggie Ferguson to die from a fatal accident, and tried to murder Audrey for her inheritance by setting her house on fire and then manipulating everyone into believing that she is responsible due to the untruth possibility that she has Alzheimer's disease. Eventually, Aidan was released after Richard's crimes were exposed - as Richard had confessed them all to Gail, including the fact that he framed Aidan for attacking Emily and killing Maxine that night.

Nearly a month later, Aidan visited Sarah on the day after Richard had died whilst trying to kill his entire stepfamily in a last-ditch familicide attempt. He asked her out, but she refused after making it clear that they are finished for good and she has moved on to Todd since then. Aidan and Sarah nevertheless part ways before he sets out to leave the street. Eventually, he encounters Ken and they make peace after Aidan gives him a copy of a book about "Crime and Punishment". Since then Aidan hasn't been seen and it is likely that he left Coronation Street to start a new life for himself or that he could still be living with his father.

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Trivia

  • He made a total of 70 appearences during his time on the show.
  • Aidan Critchley served as the secondary antagonist in the Richard Hillman storyline throughout 2002-2003; as Richard's reign of villainy had been developed in the mist of Ade's torment of Ken Barlow in the same period.
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