Emmerdale’s Jane Cox tells Soaplife how life with troubled Belle goes from bad to worse when she starts taking drugs

Alarm bells ring for Lisa when she discovers Belle’s been taking drugs with Lachlan. “Lisa finds these pills and Belle says they are only ‘legal highs’, but Lisa points out they could be harmful… And it turns out they are because Lachlan ends up in hospital after taking them,” Jane tells Soaplife.

How does Lisa find out Belle’s taking drugs?

“Lisa and Zak [Steve Halliwell] are playing with Samson when he finds a ‘sweet’ on the floor. He’s about to eat it when Zak takes it off him. Lisa can see it looks like a tablet and Samson says that he’s seen Belle eating them. That raises alarm bells because Lisa knows they are pills.”

What does Lisa do about it?

“She wants to have an honest conversation with Belle [Eden Taylor-Draper], but she acts as if they’re nothing serious. Lisa frightens Belle by asking: ‘Would you give one to Samson?’ because, of course, she wouldn’t.  A teenager wouldn’t realise that these ‘legal’ drugs can be very harmful. They have not been tested and there could be anything in them.”

When does Belle take more drugs?

“She goes out on New Year’s Eve. After telling Zak and Lisa that she will never take drugs again, they take pity on her and let her hang out with Lachlan [Thomas Atkinson]. The next thing, Belle rushes back to the Dingles in a terrible state to say that Lachlan has collapsed after taking more of these ‘legal highs’ and she has left him at Home Farm.”

Does Lisa know that Belle burgled Edna?

“No, Zak knows about that, but hasn’t told her. She knows that there is stuff going on with Belle as well as the pills. She has been drinking and getting very upset. Lisa is having to take each day as it comes as things seem to be happening one after the other.”

Is there more trouble ahead for the family?

“Belle’s story is a long one that will unfold over time. I think it really highlights the fact that young people need to talk and they need a lot of support.”

Emmerdale, ITV. Click here for dates and times.