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Toyah "Laverne" Battersby is a fictional character and central protagonist of the British soap opera Coronation Street.
Toyah Battersby first came to Weatherfield in 1997 along with her half-sister Leanne and their family - which included Toyah's mother Janice and Leanne's father Les respectively; Les and Janice are romantically engaged with each other.
Over the years, Toyah and the Battersby family settle themselves in Weatherfield. This involves often hanging out in various places such as The Rovers Return Inn public house. However, the family's presence often causes trouble for some of the local residents - most notably towards factory owner Mike Baldwin and next-door neighbor Curly Watts. In 1998, Toyah is briefly visited by her estranged father Ronnie Clegg.
In 2001, Toyah began working for The Rovers' landlord Duggie Ferguson and clashed with regular punter Peter Barlow. Then in April that year, Toyah was brutally attacked and raped by an unknown assailant. The incident's aftermath lasted for weeks as Toyah struggled to cope with her ordeal whilst the police begin making inquiries over the circumstances behind Toyah's rape. By then, she had befriended a taxi driver named Phil Simmonds and later invites him for tea in her house. When the pair are alone, however, Toyah recognizes Simmonds' voice is the same as her rapist and quickly deduces that Simmonds was the one who raped her. She confronts him and he prevents her from escaping, but Peter discovers the situation and rescues Toyah by chasing down and then beating up Simmonds to stop him from escaping; Simmonds is later arrested and jailed. A year later, Toyah decides to confront Simmonds to lay her rape ordeal to rest forever.
For the next few months, Toyah overcomes her school exams that are being tutored by Peter's father Ken and she also comes to look after local pensioner Emily Bishop for a while. In 2003, she encounters serial killer Richard Hillman and is unaware that he attacked Emily with a crowboar while she was babysitting toddler Joshua Peacock before he then killed the baby's mother Maxine Peacock for walking in on the incident and later framing his stepdaughter's ex-boyfriend Aidan Critchley for the crime. It is then Toyah decides to leave the street to start a new life on her own.
Over a decade later, Toyah returns to the street and it soon transpires that she and Peter have begun a relationship - even though Peter had previously married Leanne and they divorced despite parenting his son Simon throughout the course of events. The relationship continued when Toyah and Leanne defend Peter from speculations that he shoved his father down the stairs, even though Peter's half-brother Daniel Osbourne is later revealed to be the culprit.
That same year, Toyah helps Peter reconnect with Simon before parenting over an incident that Simon and his cousin Amy have been involved in when their schoolfriend Summer Spellman is rushed to hospital - something which Amy's father Steve McDonald and his romantic partner Tracy, also Amy's mother and Peter's half-sister, find out about as well. Later on when Peter's ex-wife Carla Connor returns to the street, Toyah suspects that he still has feeling for Carla. However, this is dismissed by Peter when he claims that it is all in the past. Toyah and Peter, along with Leanne, are later present in The Rovers when everyone discovers the truth about local villain Pat Phelan.
As time goes on, it becomes clear that Toyah had always wanted children. This extends to the point in 2018 when she claims pregnancy to Peter, but it later turns out that Toyah lied to help Leanne's half-sister Eva Price cover-up the fact that got pregnant with her ex-fiance and Carla's half-brother Aidan. A month later after Aidan committed suicide due to his life spiraling out of control, Toyah reveals the truth to Peter and pleads with him to forgive her. However, Peter dismisses Toyah as a "selfish bitch" and breaks up with her.
In 2019, Toyah becomes romantically involved with solicitor Imran Habeeb. She comforts him after his sister, Rana, is killed in a factory collapse on the day she was supposed to marry Carla and Aidan's sister Kate. Thereafter the duo suspect that Leanne's husband, Nick Tilsley, is responsible after it transpires that he stole money that belonged to his grandmother Audrey before framing her ex-lover Lewis Archer as the culprit and then forcing his half-brother David Platt to keep quiet about the situation. While the pair never find out that local builder Gary Windass is responsible for the factory collapse that killed Rana due to his debt problems with loan shark Rick Neelan, whom he would later kill months after the revelation, Toyah and Imran continue with their relationship; the couple soon get engaged and they eventually get married.
In 2020, Toyah and Imran decide to start fostering for a child. A year later the pair take in Rick's estranged daughter, Kelly, into their care. Trouble soon emerges when Kelly is wrongfully arrested for the murder of Gary's former protégé Seb Franklin and the attack on his girlfriend Nina Lucas in a hate crime incident. The couple resolve to help prove Kelly's innocence, which involves clashing with Kelly's neglectful mother Laura on several occasions. Eventually, Kelly's innocence is proven when the residents gather evidence to prove that delinquent Corey Brent is responsible and that his father Stefan collaborated in obstructing the court of justice; Corey is eventually arrested for his crimes whilst Kelly is exonerated.
Soon afterwards, Imran and Toyah could no longer foster her - which again left Toyah devastated since yet again she has been denied a child. But then the two start fostering a young girl named Elsie and it seemed as though as Toyah has finally accomplished her family dream with Imran. However, in 2022, her marriage broke down when Toyah found out that Imran had a one-night stand with Seb's grieving mother Abi and later got her pregnant with their son Alfie. Moreover she learns that Imran is plotting to discredit Abi's case in order to gain sole custody for their child and that he had been lying to Toyah about it. When he later reveals the truth to her in May 2022 while she is driving him to court, Toyah declares that they are finished and she hates him with her heart. Then she ends up driving the car into a wall, consequently injuring them both in the process; Toyah is rushed to hospital and she survives, but is later devastated to learn that Imran has died when the impact of the crush led to him suffering a fatal heart attack.
Following her husband's death, Toyah is later taken in for questioning by the police when they suspect that she deliberately crashed the car that caused Imran's death. It soon becomes clear that this may appear to be true and Toyah decides to leave the street to recuperate on the situation. At the same time, Peter's nephew Amy - also Imran's colleague and best-friend - begins to assume that the circumstances behind Imran's death may not appear to be as they seemed and eventually he too believes that Toyah caused his death on purpose.
- Imran Habeeb: Purposely crashed their car causing him to suffer a cardiac arrest.
- The storyline in which Toyah is brutally raped by Phil Simmonds in April 2001 is considered one of the darkest storylines in both the show's history and British Soapland in general.
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