When Jeni Sinclaire first arrived at Holby City, the director of funding really seemed like she could reverse the fortunes of the hospital - and Fletch’s love life.
However, it soon transpired that our Jeni - played by the brilliant Debra Stephenson - harboured a very dark side when it was revealed that she was using the hospital fundraisers as a front to groom young girls for paying men.
Up until recently, Jeni had always managed to cover her tracks - largely because she was able to blackmail teenage girls like Fletch’s daughter Evie into keeping her dirty little secret. But when young Mia - Donna’s daughter - suffered an ectopic pregnancy recently, Evie couldn’t stand the pressure any longer and finally told her dad EVERYTHING… and we mean everything!
In next week’s Holby, Fletch is struggling to focus on his work as it’s revealed that he and Donna HAVE reported Jeni to Holby boss Hanssen. As Donna reassures Fletch that Jeni’s likely already in police custody, they both get a shock when Jeni then comes strolling out of the hospital lift, coffee in hand, to begin her working day.
With both Donna and Fletch under strict orders not to approach Jeni, Donna knows they must not confront her, fearing she could try to escape. So she urges Fletch to act normal and let the police do their job.
Jeni clearly knows something’s up, though, as she keeps trying to contact Fletch’s daughter Evie, and then learns Donna’s daughter Mia has been transferred to St James’s. Fearing she’s losing her grip on all her ‘girls’, Jeni sets the wheels in motion to leave Holby… immediately!
"At first, Jeni probably did have a conscience but she’s a sociopath and there’s something not quite right with her; she’ll have a way of rationalising her behaviour and justifying everything for herself. She’s thinking with her head while there’s not much going on in her heart," says Debra Stephenson, who plays her.
Meanwhile, Evie turns up at Holby and tells her dad and Donna that Jeni knows they’re onto her - and they mustn’t let her get away. When Donna learns Jeni knows Mia is at St James’s, she fears her daughter could be in grave danger.
However, it turns out it’s Evie who’s in jeopardy as Jeni tries to force the teen into fleeing with her. Can Donna and Fletch save Evie and make sure evil Jeni is brought to justice?
"When push comes to shove, the more Jeni’s cornered, the more she fights for herself and her survival instinct takes over," says Debra. "In real life, young girls are being snared into this dark world and this story is a reminder they need to watch out."
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 7.50pm on BBC1.
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