Robert "Rob" Hawthorne was the boyfriend of Lucy Benson. Rob was a villainous man who committed several crimes, including accidentally causing Natasha Andersen to unknowingly take a fatal overdose, getting Lucy hooked on heroin, attempting to drown Lucy, Carol Groves, Lewis Richardson, Tony Hutchinson and Ruth Osborne, before attempting to kill everyone attending Finn's millennium eve party by torching his bus, only resulting in Rob's own death.
1996-1997: Natasha & Dermot's deathsEdit
Rob never saw eye-to-eye with Kurt Benson, and the pair often clashed. Despite this, he dated Kurt's sister Lucy Benson. Rob's best friend was Dermot Ashton, and they both got into trouble. It started when Rob and Dermot decided to spike Natasha Andersen's drink with ecstasy to try get her into bed. However, this proved fatal as Natasha collapsed on the dance floor from an overdose, and died in hospital. Kurt and Bazz pointed the finger at Rob and Dermot, however, neither of them had any real proof. Lucy initially stood by Rob but she soon realised Rob may have killed Natasha and dumped him.
Rob still wanted to be with Lucy and Lucy gave him one last chance. Dermot told Rob that he had money problems so Rob made plans to rob a drug dealer's lock up. Rob had taken an unwilling Lucy and her friend Carol Groves as alibis. Dermot and Rob managed to steal the money but were caught by the dealers, and a car chase ensued. Lucy and Carol pleaded with Rob to stop the car, but Rob refused. Rob lost control of the car and crashed the car into the River Dee. Dermot was killed but Rob, Lucy and Carol survived. A guilty Lucy then confessed all to the police, but the police had insufficient evidence to arrest Rob, so he was released.
A few weeks later, Lucy, Carol, Kurt and Kurt's friend Jambo Bolton followed Rob on a night's "work", in an attempt to find something incriminating. The quartet took Rob, and delivered him to the drug dealers, who threw Rob off the roof of a carpark, leaving him with a permanent leg injury. Rob then became hellbent on getting revenge on the quartet, but he soon became homeless. However, Susi Harrison came to his rescue by allowing him to stay with her until he moved into a flat with Kevin Daniels.
1997-1998: Supposed deathEdit
When Ollie Benson was killed in a car accident, with the Benson family blaming Lucy, Rob took her in. He began giving her tranquillisers to help her with her grief, however, she ended up becoming addicted. Rob soon discovered his father had died, and, taking it badly, turned to heroin. He fed Lucy's drug addiction and upped the dose to heroin, but ended up giving her an ultimatum - him or heroin. Rob was also later dealt a further blow when he learned that he could lose his leg, or end up in a wheelchair as an adult, and decided to get back at Kurt. He gave Lucy, already high on heroin, an extra injection, causing her to fall into a coma. He took Lucy to the car park, preparing to throw her off but Kurt saved her and she was rushed to hospital.
Rob tried to flee the country, but Kurt was hot on his tail. He fled to France with Carol and Jude Cunningham, unaware Kurt had followed him. Rob stole the boat Jude was using for the booze run, however Kurt managed to jump onto the boat and he dropped the anchor. A fight ensued between Rob and Kurt, in which Rob went after Kurt, but Kurt pushed him into the ocean, ignoring Rob's pleas to save him and telling him that "fate would decide whether he lived or died".
1999: Return and deathEdit
Rob then made a surprise return to the village in September 1999. He attempted to drown Carol in a bath, and soon went after Lucy. Tony Hutchinson witnessed the kidnap but was unable to stop Rob from putting a tied up Lucy in the back of his van. Rob took Lucy to an abandoned nautical test centre where he tried to drown her in a water tank. Tony and his friends Ruth Osborne and Lewis Richardson managed to track him down and tried to save her, but Rob managed to capture them and also tried to drown them in the water tank. As Rob played with the depth and temperature of the water, Lucy began developing hypothermia and her chances of survival looked slim. Tony managed to find an escape hatch and forced it open, and the group were sucked through the hole and into the River Dee. Upon realising that Lucy hadn't followed them out, Tony went back in for her and managed to resuscitate her.
Back in the village, Rob hadn't finished yet, and planned to take further revenge. He began a relationship with Beth Morgan, but Beth dumped him when she overheard Lucy and Rob arguing, in which Beth heard Lucy talk about how he ruined her and her family's lives. On 31st December 1999, Rob torched Finn's bus in an attempt to kill Lucy and everyone else at the party on the bus, however Rob became trapped. Everyone evacuated the bus and Rob was killed when the bus exploded.
Rob's death still had an affect on the teens, as Lucy was accused of murder by the police. However, evidence came to light that incriminated Rob of crimes he was accused of, and Lucy was relieved of being a suspect.
- Lucy Benson, October 1998 - Gave Lucy an overdose of drugs.
- Lucy Benson, October 1998 - Attempted to throw Lucy off a multi-storey car park.
- Carol Groves, c.September 1999 - Tried to drown Carol in a bath.
- Lucy Benson, 13th-16th September 1999 - Attempted to drown in a water tank.
- Ruth Osborne, 14th September-16th September 1999 - Attempted to drown in a water tank.
- Lewis Richardson, 14th September-16th September 1999 - Attempted to drown in a water tank.
- Tony Hutchinson, 14th September-16th September 1999 - Attempted to drown in a water tank.
- Lucy Benson, 31st December 1999 - Set fire to a bus in an attempt to kill Lucy and everyone else on the bus.
- Rob was the show's first murderer.
- Actor Warren Derosa quit the show in 1998 with no intention of returning. However, producers asked for him to return in September 1999, which he agreed, and departed in December 1999 when the character was killed off.