|Character Profile||List of appearances|
1960s-2005: Early life
Kathy met Mike Barnes at a young age and fell in love. Kathy discovered she was pregnant with Sarah and she and Mike pondered whether to put Sarah up for adoption, but decided to keep her. The pair then married and became a family.
2005-2009: Move to Hollyoaks
Kathy is introduced shortly after her daughter, Sarah. Kathy is strictly training Sarah for numerous swimming contests and a future career in the sport. Sarah feels suffocated by Kathy's pressure and finds support in the form of boyfriend Rhys Ashworth. Mike and their youngest daughter Amy then arrive. Kathy sees Rhys as a threat to her hope of Sarah becoming a swimmer. Kathy then sleeps with Rhys and blackmails him into breaking up with her. During a massive row over Sarah and Rhys getting back together at Mike and Kathy's anniversary party, Gilly Roach inadvertently shouts out that Rhys and Kathy slept together, in front of Sarah, Amy and Mike. Sarah is hurt and disgusted with Rhys and Kathy, while Amy is left shocked and distressed by the revelation. Mike is furious. Backed up by Amy and Sarah, he orders Kathy to leave, which she does. Kathy returns and gets back together with Mike after the two decide to reconcile for the sake of their daughters. Amy gives birth to Leah Barnes and Kathy feels ashamed. To cover it up, Kathy decides to raise Leah as her own. Kathy leaves to stay with her mother for a short while. In this time, Amy bonds with Leah and declares she wants to raise Leah, she also tells everyone she is Leah's real mother. Kathy realises she will lose Leah and kidnaps her. Eventually Leah is returned to Amy as Kathy moves to her mother's to recover from trauma.
Kathy returns in October 2007, and finds Ste Hay living with Amy. Kathy and Mike are not happy and throw Ste out. Amy then leaves with Leah and moves in with Ste. Kathy phones the social services which excludes her from her daughter even more. Kathy discovers Sarah and Rhys are back together. Their relationship leads to the start of Kathy's vendetta against the Ashworth family. The family begins getting strange phone calls, vandalism on their house and even a Tupperware box full of faeces. The Ashworths begin to accuse several people including Ste and even own family members Hannah Ashworth and Beth Clements. Whilst throwing a brick through the window of the Ashworth family business, Drive 'n' Buy, Kathy loses a nail. She goes to Evissa for a manicure and tells Carmel Valentine that she took the nail off after it became loose. Carmel turns detective and finds a broken nail outside Drive 'n' Buy. She then reveals Kathy as the vandal. Kathy, Mike, Sarah, Amy and Ste are confronted by Rhys, Hannah, Beth, Suzanne Ashworth, Neville Ashworth, and Josh Ashworth. Kathy also gets jealous of Zoe Carpenter and falsely accuses her and Mike of cheating. Although he had always previously supported Kathy throughout all of her various issues while at Hollyoaks, this accusation, coupled with Kathy's vendetta against the Ashworths, finally proves to be the last straw for Mike. Unable to cope with Kathy's behaviour any longer Mike tells her to leave. When she refuses, Mike throws her out, and Kathy goes to stay with her mother. In January 2008 Mike subsequently files for a divorce.
In October 2009, Sarah dies during a parachute jump. Mike phones Kathy to tell her the bad news. However, she does not attend Sarah's funeral.
2017: Finding Amy's Killer
In March 2017, Kathy is mentioned as getting on the wrong train travelling to daughter Amy's wedding subsequently missing the ceremony. She returns to Hollyoaks in April 2017 for Amy's funeral, after she is murdered. Kathy and Mike have an argument over allowing Zoe to come for Amy funeral. She later returned in September 2017 for Ste's trial after he is accused of murdering her. Kathy is certain that Ste is guilty due to his abuse towards her in the past. After catching Ryan kissing Tegan Lomax, she decides to take Leah & Lucas away from her. She takes them to the beach where she unearths Shane Sweeney's handgun (Shane had been reported missing a couple of weeks earlier). Instead of calling the police, Kathy decides to keep the gun for herself. She later clashes with Ryan when she attempts to take Leah and Lucas to live with her without his knowledge, due to his grief for her own two daughters, although he and Mike try to convince her against it. The following day, Ste is found not guilty of Amy's murder, with Kathy running off in tears. Having watching Ste being released, Kathy pulls a gun and shoots him in the courtroom. Ste survives the shooting with no internal injuries. Kathy is last seen being escorted to the police station, under arrest for attempted murder.
- Ste Hay: Shot.
- It was originally established that Kathy was born in 1973, however, in 2006, she celebrated her 40th birthday, contradicting her pre-existing birth year.