Emmerdale Past & Present Wiki

Sarah Sugden in 1994.

Sarah Sugden (nee Connolly) was a character in Emmerdale Farm from Episode 1238 (7th April 1988) to Episode 2789 (16th November 2000). She was the second wife of Jack Sugden after marrying him in 1994 and died in a barn fire in 2000. Sarah hated being tied down as the farmer's wife so she dated much younger man Richie Carter until her death in a fire. She was played by Madeleine Howard from 1988 to 1994 then Alyson Spiro from 1994 to 2000.



Sarah Connolly was born on the 25th March 1952 to Mr Connolly and his wife Victoria Connolly. She had at least 1 sister. Sarah worked as a librarian.


Madeline Howard as Sarah Connolly in 1990.

Sarah met Jack in April 1988. She bore a resemblance to Jack's late wife Pat Sugden, who died in a car crash 2 years earlier. They started dating but Sarah was annoyed by Jack's sarcastic and waspish comments about her friends. They broke up at the end of April.

They started dating again some time later. Jackie Merrick disapproved of his father's relationship. In early 1993, Sarah mentioned The Old Woolpack, and how it suffered from subsidence years before. In mid 1993 Sarah fell pregnant. On the night of 30th December 1993, a huge airliner crashed on Beckindale, killing villagers and destroying many buildings and farms. Sarah gave birth to baby daughter Victoria Anne Sugden, named after her 2 grandmothers. Annie Sugden was woken up from her coma when she heard baby Victoria crying. Annie had been injured when her son Joe Sugden crashed his car to avoid falling wreckage on the night of the plane crash. In June 1994 Sarah Connolly became Mrs Jack Sugden.

In 2000, Sarah said she did not want to be the new Annie Sugden, her mother in law, a farmer's wife. Jack and Sarah's relationship had hit many difficulties. In 2000, Sarah started dating Richie Carter, who was 28 years younger than her. She was 48 and he was 20. Jack was awarded custody of Robert due to Sarah not being Robert's biological mother.

Sarah and Richie carried on their affair. She died in a barn fire in November 2000 which was started by Andy as he thought he was helping Jack who was cash strapped. The barn exploded, killing Sarah instantly.


The news of Sarah's death rocked the village. The police were called and they suspected arson. Family friend Terry Woods was passing by and saw the smoke and wanted to know what was going on. When Terry left, the police said "Put him down as a suspect". Richie Carter was sent to hospital. Richie's mother Denise Carter turned up and said she was shocked when the news on the radio said Sarah Sugden was 48 and thought they got their facts wrong but Richie confirmed she was 48 years old and much older than him.

Sarah was buried in Emmerdale Village Cemetery.


Sarah's death was felt by Jack, Robert and Andy for years. In 2005, Andy and Debbie Dingle had a daughter whom they named Sarah Sugden Jnr.

A few enquiries were made into the fire that killed Sarah in 2000. In 2007, Victoria Sugden tracked down Richie Carter. Richie doesn't want to get Andy into trouble and so he explains that he was responsible to get Sarah to talk but tried saving her, not realising that she wouldn't jump. Scared that Victoria will call the cops, he quickly leaves without telling anyone.

In 2009, Robert returned to Emmerdale for his dad's funeral but then left. In late 2014, Robert moved back to Emmerdale permanently. He referenced Sarah a few times.

Memorable info[]

Birthday: 25th March 1952

Died: 16th November 2000 (Aged 48)

Full Name: Sarah Sugden (nee Connolly)


Mother Victoria Connolly

Spouse Jack Sugden (1994-2000)

Children Victoria Sugden (1994)

Adoptive children Robert Sugden, Andy Sugden

Grandchildren Harry Sugden (Biological) Sarah Sugden Jnr Jack Sugden II, Sebastian White (adoptive)

Siblings 1 sister