As Cain’s on his way back to Emmerdale, we thought we’d take a look at the life, loves and losses of the archetypal Dales Bad Boy who’s played by the gorgeous Jeff Hordley.
After arriving in the Dales in 2000 for the funeral of his cousin Butch, Cain’s feud with the Tates began. Butch died after an accident that involved one of Tate’s trucks, so Cain vowed revenge on Chris Tate for the death of Butch.
He soon had other things on his mind though and found himself wildly attracted to local married copper Angie Reynolds. She made it clear she wasn’t interested – at first – so Cain made a beeline for her daughter Ollie, which did the trick nicely.
Angie’s anger at Cain for using her daughter soon turned to passion and the two were thereafter ripping each others clothes off at every opportunity.
However, she decided to call it a day on their affair as she tried to rebuild her marriage, but Cain wasn’t going to be spurned without a fight! He vowed to win her back or ruin her, so he began sleeping with Ollie, pushed her granddad Len down the stairs and he made their affair public which meant Angie got sacked.
To get her own back, Angie then set Cain up by pretending to him that she was in on a scam that involved stealing a Tate truck but she had in fact been working with the police and a car chase ensued. The car Angie was in went off the road and desperate to help the love of his life, Cain stopped running from police to rush to her aid.
Angie was dying; severely injured from the crash, she died in Cain’s arms. He’d begged her to say she loved him but instead, she said she loved her kids and was gone.
Cain was soon to have a distraction though when he discovered that he was a daddy! He’d had a fling with his cousin Charity – as the Dingle’s are wont to do – and at just 13, Charity had become pregnant and subsequently put their child up for adoption without ever telling Cain he was a father.
While Cain was embroiled in a feud with Charity over her relationship with his arch enemy Chris Tate, a young Debbie arrived in the village clutching an old picture of her biological mother, Charity.
She showed the picture to Cain, not realising who he was, and he soon put two and two together and was shocked to learn he had a daughter.
Never one to miss an opportunity, Cain began blackmailing Charity with the threat that he’d tell Chris all about Debbie unless she coughed up. However, she thwarted his plan by telling Chris herself, and much to Cain’s anger, Chris welcomed Debbie with open arms.
Despite being a con artist and hard man, Cain had grown to love Debbie and he and Charity constantly clashed over their daughter but, when the pair took Debbie on a family trip, Cain and Charity’s love was rekindled and they began an affair. Charity tried to end it many times, but once Chris found out, he vowed revenge on them both.
Chris also found out at that time that he had an inoperable and terminal brain tumour so a plan formed; he was going to frame Charity for his murder! What Chris didn’t know is that Cain was planning to murder his rival but he never got the chance…
Chris drank poison having arranged for Charity to come to the house for dinner, and he – correctly – assumed everyone would think Charity had done the deed. Cain showed up and was there as Chris died so fearing that he and Charity would be charged with Chris’s death, he got Debbie and fled the village. He eventually came back and was cleared of all charges while his and Charity’s love grew stronger as she faced life in prison.
By the time she was cleared, Charity had realised that she couldn’t spend the rest of her life slumming it with the Dingles. She was a woman used to having money and luxuries by then so, with her new beau on the scene – Tom King – Cain was happy to help when Sadie King paid him to prove to Tom he was still sleeping with Charity. He wasn’t of course – Charity really did care for Tom – but he set her up and it worked; Tom threw her out.
Never one to let sleeping dogs lie herself, Charity took revenge on Sadie by sleeping with her husband Jimmy. She also got Jimmy to confess to his part in the plot in the hope that Tom would take her back when he knew the truth. A furious Tom expelled Sadie and Jimmy from the King family and Cain was similarly banished from the Dingle homestead.
Debbie and Cain then went to live with Andy Sugden and Sadie King found she couldn’t resist the rough-and-ready charms of Cain, so they began a passionate affair. When Sadie later rejected him though, Cain got back at her by killing her beloved dog Damon.
While all that was going on, Debbie and Andy quietly got closer and began a relationship of their own which was to result in baby Sarah. She kept the pregnancy a secret but when it all came out – no pun intended – Cain immediately bonded with his granddaughter and lavished love on her. However, all his best efforts to become a good family man were wasted on Debbie who rejected her daughter from the beginning.
He kept on trying and desperate for an end to the situation, Debbie begged her good friend Emily – Paddy the Vet’s ex-wife – to leave the village and take the baby with her. The lonely Emily happily agreed and slipped away with Sarah but when the Dingles found out, they were furious.
Cain was beside himself and vowed to find his granddaughter and bring her home however he couldn’t find Emily and Sarah so he returned to the village harbouring a simmering hatred for Debbie for giving away the child. He was intent on making Debbie pay for what she’d done and set about making her life hell.
Things got so bad between them all that Debbie ended up moving out and went to live with in Ashley Thomas and his niece Jasmine who became very close friends.
Seeing this, Cain realised that he could hurt Debbie by using Jasmine so he began a charm offensive on the impressionable young girl. He slept with Jasmine and arranged things so that Debbie would walk in on them. Hurt, Debbie vowed to get her own back on Cain, no matter how long that might take.
Meanwhile, Sadie paid Cain to sabotage the King’s new show home by driving a JCB into it but, while he did as she asked, she refused to sleep with him, making the passionate Cain furious. In his fury, he told Jimmy that Sadie had arranged the show home devastation. At the time, Sadie was having an affair with Jimmy’s brother Matthew and Cain threatened to tell Matthew that he and Sadie were sleeping together.
Sadie retaliated by telling Ashley that Cain had been sleeping with Jasmine which resulted in the Dingles once again evicting Cain and allowing Debbie to move back in. Defeated all round, Cain left the village for a while but was soon back when he found out the Jasmine was pregnant. He was delighted at the thought of being a father but Debbie persuaded the confused Jasmine to have an abortion which Sadie – who was chuffed to have a chance to destroy Cain’s dreams of fatherhood – paid for.
On the day the abortion was to take place, Cain searched frantically for Jasmine and Debbie but by the time he found them, the deed was done and Cain was devastated but Debbie was pleased to twist the knife and she let it be known that she’d promised revenge on Cain and she’d now got it.
In the meantime, the King’s plans for the new houses in the village forged ahead but what they didn’t know is that when Cain crashed into the show house, he’d fractured a gas pipe causing a dangerous build up of gas. On the day of the grand opening – which most of the village attended – a spark ignited the gas and a huge explosion rocked the village and left young mum Dawn Woods – Terry’s wife and Bob’s daughter – dead, as well as villager Noreen Bell.
Cain found out about the explosion and was wracked with guilt, unlike Sadie who didn’t give a stuff. So, in order to redirect the karmic balance, when Cain learned that his brother Sam was to be charged with the murder of his terminally ill wife Alice – she’d asked to be helped to die peacefully – Cain went to the police and told them he’d killed Alice.
Cain couldn’t bear the thought of another motherless child suffering as Dawn’s child had because of his actions.
His taking the blame for the death of Alice – which saved Sam – made him the new Dingle family hero, and even the embittered Debbie was impressed. Sadie showed a partially human side by anonymously paying his bail.
At poor Alice’s funeral, Sadie once again recruited Cain into helping her get back at Tom and Matthew King; she told Cain that they could both get rich by kidnapping Tom and demanding a ransom. However, Sadie’s plan didn’t go as expected because Debbie revealed to Cain that Sadie had paid for Jasmine’s abortion, which left him heartbroken and more vengeful than he’d ever been before.
After a nasty and emotion fuelled confrontation with Sadie, Cain followed her to the pre-arranged meeting place and while Sadie and Tom discussed the house collapse, Cain emerged from the woods with a shotgun and kidnapped both Tom and Sadie.
After hiding out in a barn for the night, Cain returned to the village and was quizzed by his sister Chas as to whether he’d had anything to do with Tom and Sadie’s disappearance. Cain denied any involvement but eventually, the police closed in on Cain so he ran with his hostages in tow.
However, the police chased him to a nearby quarry where Cain diverted their attention by sending his empty car over cliff, making everyone believe Tom and Sadie were inside it. While the police were busy searching the quarry lake for their bodies, Cain attacked two police officers and disguised himself by wearing one of their uniforms.
Later, after pretending to shoot Sadie, Cain made Tom call Chas to arrange delivery of the ransom money. When this was done, Cain fled following a tearful goodbye to Debbie who begged him to take her with him. Cain refused but later, he arranged for money to be posted to his daughter to help her set up a business.
When Cain got to the airport – where Sadie was by now waiting for him – he left her stranded and vowed to change his life. Cain left a final message to Debbie on her voicemail telling her to ignore what everyone else said; he told her he wasn’t with Sadie and ended by telling Debbie he loved her.
That was the last we saw of Cain but on Debbie’s eighteenth birthday, he sent her an expensive silver watch.
But now, with Debbie about to face some of the worst times of her young life, Cain’s about to ride into town on a metaphorical white steed, swimming in cash and clearly a different man… but is he really?? We’ll see!