Emmerdale actor James Hooton has revealed that his character Sam Dingle could be ‘destroyed’ by a return to prison.

Sam is set to be at the centre of some dramatic storylines after he is arrested for starting the fire that breaks out at Home Farm over Christmas.

While Declan Macey was actually the culprit, matters are further complicated in Emmerdale after Sam becomes convinced he started the blaze by accident while delivering presents – while Charity Dingle lays the blame at his feet in a bid to protect Declan.

“I think the last thing Sam could cope with is going back to prison. He’s been to prison before and he’s not coped at all well with it,” James admitted.

“He’s not cut out for the inside. He’s a very sensitive soul and he needs his loved ones and his support mechanisms around him. And in a prison environment everything in his life crumbles so I don’t think he’ll cope at all.”

James added that Sam would not ‘believe it for one second’ if he were to learn he had been framed by Charity, played by Emma Atkins.

“Family is always very important to the Dingles so it would be a very difficult thing to come to terms with,” the actor said.

“It is about family solidarity for the Dingles and it would be very difficult for Sam to believe that Charity was involved.”