Zak’s daughter Belle is home but it’s clear prison has damaged her, Emmerdale‘s Steve Halliwell tells Soaplife…

Zak Dingle is thrilled to have his daughter Belle home. But prison life has left scars. Belle is not the girl she was. She’s being bullied and she won’t reveal who the culprit is. “Zak’s very concerned because he doesn’t know how to help her,” says Steve to Soaplife. “She’s behaving oddly and Zak can’t get to the bottom of it.”

How is Zak trying to help Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper)?
“Both he and Lisa [Jane Cox] are trying to understand her and figure out if she’s really ready to be back home. When Zak had a nervous breakdown, he felt that sometimes he was safer in the hospital, away from his life.”

How is Belle different now?
“Underneath she’s still his daughter, but a lot of armour has been put on emotionally. You’d expect that. She’s been traumatised by her friend dying at her hands and she’s been locked away with some rough characters. Zak’s trying to find his way back to the lovely child he knows.”

What does Zak make of Lachlan (Thomas Atkinson)?
“He goes up to Home Farm ranting and raving about certain things he thinks Lachlan has done to upset Belle, but there is evidence that suggests it couldn’t have been him.”

What is happening to Belle?
“Somebody is bullying her at school. She’s also attacked and comes home covered in scratches and upset. Zak tries to get her to talk about it, but she won’t and doesn’t want the police involved.”

What sort of Christmas are the Dingles in for?
“There is not a particular big storyline for them, but it’s also Belle’s birthday over Christmas, so maybe the family can cheer her up a bit.”

Emmerdale, ITV. Click here for dates and times.