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Who is Lee Banks in 'Line of Duty'?

Lee Banks after his arrest in Line of Duty season 5.
Lee Banks is played by Alastair Natkiel. (Image credit: BBC)

Lee Banks might not be the biggest name in Line of Duty, but we all know how much Jed Mercurio loves dragging people and plot points back from the past. 

First seen working alongside John Corbett, Lee Banks has proven on several occasions to be one of the most vicious gang members we’ve seen in the show so far. How well do you know this particular member of the OCG? 

Here's everything you need to know about Lee Banks...

Who plays Lee Banks?

Lee Banks is played by Alastair Natkiel. Alastair has appeared in shows like Coronation Street, Casualty, The Innocent, Two Sides and Make Aliens Dance

Who is Lee Banks?

Lee Banks is a career criminal with a long record who first appeared in Line of Duty season 5. He was part of the team that led the raid on a police convoy from Eastfield Police Storage Facility. Throughout the show, he can be seen participating in their activities, alongside Lisa McQueen and Ryan Pilkington.

Arguably his most significant act on-screen was his part in PC Maneet Bindra's kidnap. He was sent to follow PC Bindra with Ryan after Corbett grew suspicious that she was planning to leak info about their operations back to AC-12. 

After Corbett found Maneet has bugged her burner phone, Lee and Ryan took her out to the quayside where ACC Derek Hilton was found dead, and Lee slit her throat with a knife whilst Ryan held her still.

Lee Banks and Ryan Pilkington Line of Duty Season 5

Lee Banks and Ryan Pilkington with PC Maneet Bindra (L-R). (Image credit: BBC)

As Lee was spotted by a pedestrian who photographed Maneet being kidnapped, AC-12 manage to successfully identify him. Corbett sent Lee off to bribe the sole survivor of the first hijack, Sergeant Jane Cafferty at her home, where she was recovering from her injuries. 

Lee was uncomfortable going into the house, but Corbett convinced him the police were on their side. As soon as Lee set foot inside the house, armed police raided the house and arrest him, led by Steve Arnott (Martin Compston).

Later in the season, Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) visited Lee Banks in prison. Although we don’t know what the two of them discussed, Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Steve were both suspicious that Hastings blew Corbett’s cover to Lee Banks. 

From their interview with Lisa McQueen, they learned the tip-off that revealed there was a rat inside the OCG came from Blackthorn. Lee Banks was the only OCG member inside at the time.

Why has Lee Banks returned?

Spoilers for the latest season of Line of Duty ahead, you have been warned!

We were all shocked to see Lee Banks return inside HMP Blackthorn right at the end of season 6, episode 4. Just when we thought Jimmy Lakewell was safe after that tense shootout, he was returned to prison. 

There, Jimmy was surprised to find DSU Ian Buckells in his cell. Visibly shaken, Buckells distracted Jimmy just long enough to enable Lee to rush into the cell and choke him to death!

This was clearly to intimidate Buckells into working for the OCG, as Lee tells him to “watch what happens to a rat!”

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Will Lee’s return to the show spell trouble for Ian Buckells? We’ll have to wait and see… 

Line of Duty continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. You can catch up with previous seasons on BBC iPlayer.