Charlotte Bellamy has revealed that Laurel Thomas’s relationship with Marlon Dingle is put under strain in Emmerdale when she is the victim of a carjacking.

Laurel agrees to go with painkiller addict Rhona Goskirk to a chemist in a dodgy area and stays in the car to look after baby Leo, but a violent thug then attacks her and steals the vehicle.

Laurel is left traumatised but also determined to find out who is responsible, and Marlon can’t understand her reaction.

Charlotte said: “They’ve been through a lot anyway, but it’s frustrating when something like this happens to a couple and one party doesn’t feel as though they’re being understood. It’s that miscommunication which puts a massive strain on their relationship, so we’ll have to see whether they can make it through this.

“It makes Laurel extremely nervous and anxious. She becomes unable to trust people, which is only natural because she’s been through a very traumatic experience.”

The actress thinks Laurel may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said: “When someone is carjacked, it’s completely out of the blue. There’s no rhyme or reason – it’s just bad luck or bad timing. I think that totally unnerves Laurel.

“Another scary thing is that baby Leo is in the back of the vehicle. The carjacker wants to drive off with Laurel, so what are his intentions? What does he want? Laurel does manage to get out of the car with Leo, but she’s haunted by the unknown and the fear of what could have happened.

“Her behaviour is certainly erratic and it gets worse and worse, but we’ll have to see. She’s just becoming more agitated, but she has to see this through.

“Laurel has never done anything wrong in her life, so she’s also trying to understand how she became victim to such a terrible attack. Carjacking is so common – more common than people think. We might not think about it when we’re sitting at a traffic jam, but you’re very vulnerable in a car.”