Clare Cartwright
Clare Cartwright
Portrayed by Siobhan Finneran
First Appearance Series 1 Episode 1
Duration 2014-
Status Alive
Occupation Unemployed
Sisters Catherine Cawood
Nephews Daniel Cawood
Other relatives Ryan Cawood

Catherine's younger sister, Clare was always more rebellious than her older sibling, who in turn often had to look after her. Her life spiralled out of control due to alcohol and heroin addictions, but Clare has turned her life around, and spends her time trying to help others in need, and also helps Catherine in raising Ryan.


Clare had gotten involved with the wrong crowd, and ended up as an alcoholic and heroin addict. She eventually sought help, and as of the second series, had been clean for twelve years. After her addiction left her homeless, Clare moved in with Catherine, and helps Catherine to raise her grandson Ryan. Clare also volunteers at a local missionary, where she is popular amongst staff and visitors alike due to her kind and concerning nature.

Series 1

Clare is unemployed, and dedicates the majority of her time helping out at the missionary or at her allotment. She lives with her older sister Catherine, and helps raise Catherine's grandson Ryan, who is eight and constantly in trouble at school. Ryan was conceived through violent criminal Tommy Lee Royce raping his mother (Catherine's daughter) Becky, and Becky wanted to have an abortion but was unable to, and later took her own life following Ryan's birth, which led to Catherine's husband Richard divorcing her, unable to live with Ryan, blaming him for Becky's death. As a result, Clare is fiercely protective of Ryan and always defends him.

As Clare is working at the missionary, her friend and fellow volunteer Helen Gallagher asks Clare about Catherine's work as a police officer. Helen's daughter Ann has been kidnapped and held hostage by a group, including Tommy Lee Royce, who have demanded money. Helen asks to visit Catherine, but when Clare warns Helen that Catherine is upset following the murder of a colleague, Helen fails to turn up at their house.

When Helen later tells Catherine about Ann's kidnapping, it is Clare who initially suspects Tommy Lee Royce is involved, and she is later proven right when Ann is found in the cellar of Royce's mother's house. Royce then viciously beats Catherine, leaving her in hospital and needing her spleen removed. Clare keeps a bedside vigil, and when Catherine is released, Clare throws her a birthday party intended to help tackle Catherine's depression, but Catherine spends the majority of the evening smoking alone in the backyard, and is then berated by her drunken son Daniel, after Clare accidentally tells him his parents have been sleeping together again/

After murdering again, Tommy Lee Royce ends up luring Ryan to the canal barge he has broken into, and plans to kill himself and Ryan in a joint suicide pact. Clare becomes concerned when Ryan is late home from school, so rings his friends parents, which leads her to discover that Ryan has been visiting Royce daily. Catherine and Clare then rush to the canal, and hear Ryan's screams as Royce has poured petrol over him. Catherine manages to free Ryan, then beats up Royce and has him arrested.

Series 2

Whilst looking for a job in Hebden, Clare bumps into Neil Ackroyd, a former boyfriend and schoolfriend who has recently divorced. It is clear there is still a spark between Clare and Neil, and after he visits for a catch-up, they agree to a cinema date.

Clare's friend Helen Gallagher is dying of cancer, and Clare joins Nevison and Ann at her bedside every day. When Clare and Catherine visit the hospice one afternoon, they find Helen's room empty, and find that she has passed away. This devastates Clare, as Helen had helped her battle her alcoholism and drug addiction. Clare and Catherine then attend Helen's funeral, but the same day is Tommy Lee Royce's mother's funeral, which Catherine fails to tell Clare, not wishing to upset her more. Following the service, Catherine leaves to attend Royce's mother's funeral, primarily to goad him, and leaves Clare. Clare subsequently relapses, and drinks heavily with Ann in the garden. Catherine returns and takes her home, and Clare goes into the backyard to smoke. Finding money in her coat pocket, Clare slips away to buy alcohol, which results in Catherine following her, and leading to a huge argument. Catherine then accompanies Clare to a bar, fearing Clare's vulnerability. After discovering it was Royce's mother's funeral, Clare comforts Catherine, who then takes her home. Clare emerges from her relapse stronger, and vows to never drink again, as well as frequently attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Clare and Neil also rekindle their relationship, but as they are watching a news report about the murder of local woman Vicky Fleming, Neil starts to become withdrawn and distressed. He later confides in Clare that he had an affair with Vicky, who became obsessive and threatening. When it became clear Neil wanted to end their relationship, Vicky took compromising photos of Neil and began blackmailing him. When he refused to pay her anymore money, Vicky told his wife and children of their affair, culminating in him having a nervous breakdown and turning to drink. Unbeknown to them, Vicky later had an affair with DC John Wadsworth, and again resorted to blackmailing him, but they got into a fight and Wadsworth murdered Vicky, before mutilating her to make her appear the victim of a local serial killer.

Clare visits Neil at work, and encourages him to tell the police of his relationship with Vicky, to eliminate him from the investigation. Neil flatly refuses, and then fails to turn up to meet Clare at the allotments. Catherine later finds Neil in a drunken state, having been removed from a restaurant after trying to steal food. Neil is arrested, but later released without charge, and vows to change, with Clare standing by him.