|First appearance||Episode #275 (5 January 2005)|
|Last appearance||Respect – Part 2 (31 August 2010)|
|Portrayed by||Sally Rogers|
Sergeant Jo Masters arrived at Sun Hill in January 2005. Jo was initially recruited as a Detective Constable by Adam Okaro. Okaro had plans for her to defuse the tension between CID heads Jack Meadows and DI Neil Manson. It was immediately clear that Jo had sustained somewhat of an infamous reputation at her previous stations, partially because her former senior officer could not abide her. A capable detective with several years' experience, Jo had her chance to shine almost instantly when both her superiors were caught up in a hostage situation, and being that she is a skilled hostage negotiator she was brought onto the scene. When the situation was finally over and her superiors were freed, they both remarked to Superintendent Adam Okaro that Jo's presence in CID could be "counter-productive", to which the Superintendent replied that it was the first time either of them had agreed in a long time, implying she had succeeded in his original mission for her. Headstrong, lively and motivated, Jo was a no-nonsense officer who was there to get a result and did not really care about whom she offends in the process. When Samantha Nixon went behind Jo's back to speak to her exclusive supergrass Seth Mercer, frightening him off and putting his life in danger by doing so, Jo ignored the fact that Nixon was her superior and challenged her actions. In doing so, Jo gave friend and colleague TDC Gary Best the courage and inspiration to lodge a complaint against DC Suzie Sim, whom he believed to be bullying him. Jo is an out-and-proud lesbian and was in a long-term relationship with a woman named Tess Henry until 2006. Jo's commitment to the job and just under a year working undercover in another district caused the two of them to separate. Having made a lasting impression at Sun Hill, it was no surprise when Superintendent Okaro chose Jo to be the contact officer for a recently released child serial killer named Cath Wilson. Although Jo made the discovery that Wilson had been wrongly accused when she was first convicted, she quickly landed back in prison for assault. After having formed a bond with the woman, Jo used the link with Wilson to her advantage when she went undercover as a Prison Officer in Stornwall Private Women's Prison, where Tess worked as a Drama Therapist, and Wilson was an inmate, to discover how drugs were being sold on the wings after a spate of overdoses. After speaking to an ex-con who had recently been released, Jo established that new inmates were given free samples of heroin when they arrived in order to get them hooked, whether they liked it or not. Jo later discovered that prime suspect Cheri Watkins, a lifer who was doing time for murder, was forcing a young, vulnerable inmate named Steph King, to smuggle in pure heroin from Watkins' dealer, Lenny Denton, who pretended to be Steph's boyfriend. After DC Suzie Sim arranged a sting during visiting time, Jo arrested Watkins and Denton, along with the Head Prison Officer Pete Morahan. It later transpired that Wilson had used Jo to get rid of Watkins, so that she could take control of the wing. Jo, angry at being used by Wilson, had her transferred to another prison.
When Seth Mercer contacted Jo once more with information that his haulage company was being exploited by business partners, she was convinced to go undercover on a long-term operation at Nottingham CID. Ten months later, when DS Stuart Turner and DC Terry Perkins were paired together on a surveillance job where they were trying to catch a crook selling counterfeit satellite navigation systems, the detectives stopped a van when it made a drop-of at a warehouse, and Terry was stunned when Jo stepped out of the vehicle. Jo and Seth were brought back to the station and Jo explained to Jack Meadows and the team that she was working undercover on an operation which was much bigger than trading counterfeit goods. DC Terry Perkins and DS Stuart Turner searched the van, and after discovering a gun hidden in the wheel arch, Jo was forced to tell Jack Meadows exactly what was going on. She explained that Seth inherited a haulage business and, when he got into debt, loan sharks started using the lorries for gun-running. Philip Hanson was their supplier and Dougie Clark was their target. She persuaded a reluctant Seth to continue with the investigation into Clark, and Jack decided to keep an eye on Jo as she continued her undercover role. Later, Jo told Sun Hill CID that an ammo exchange had been arranged and she'd like them to provide back-up on the arrests. During the meeting, Jo panicked when Hanson recognised Seth as a grass, and Clark pointed a gun at him. Jo pushed the gun away just as it was fired, and the gunshot alerted Sun Hill police, who made arrests, but they soon realised that Hanson and Seth had disappeared. Jo was devastated when they found copious amounts of blood at one of Hanson’s properties, thinking she had persuaded Seth to take one risk too many. Jo and Jack Meadows talked with forensic experts at Hanson’s house, and it looked as though Seth had put up a struggle after being kidnapped by Hanson, and lost a lot of blood. As Jo updated her colleagues in Nottingham about the operation, Jack Meadows talked to the CID team, explaining that they were now on the look out for Hanson and Seth, plus a man called Danny Castle who had put a price on super-grass Seth’s head. With the help of a tracking device, Jo and DC Terry Perkins find Hanson’s car and were shocked and surprised to find Hanson’s dead body in the boot. Now that Seth was the prime suspect, Jo spoke to his estranged wife, Pamela Mercer, who told Jo she hadn’t seen Seth since his son’s death, but she did admit that Castle had been sniffing around looking for Seth. Jo eventually found an injured Seth at his son’s grave, where he admitted that he killed Hanson but said it was in self-defence. Seth explained that when he heard Hanson trying to sell him to Castle over the phone, he hit him with an ashtray. Hanson then stabbed him and Seth hit him again. Seth was staggered when Jo informed him that she would have to arrest him, but they ran for their lives when Castle and his henchmen arrived. Jo and Seth were caught and, just after Jo surreptitiously called DC Terry Perkins from her mobile, both were held at gun point. It was a race against time for the officers, who arrived in time to save Jo, but not Seth, and Jo returned to Sun Hill.
In 2007, Jo worked on a case involving the murder of a super model called Cindy Statham. The previous suspect, Larry Franks, had made a statement confessing to the murder, but after he withdrew his confession, Jo was determined to clear Larry's name. Jo believed that Larry had filmed Cindy’s death and that there was a possibility he had buried the tape by the canal. The tape was soon uncovered and Jo watched grainy footage of Larry stroking the dying model’s hair. Adamant the tape was inconclusive, DI Neil Manson angered Jo when he insisted that himself and DC Grace Dasari would re-interview Larry, who clammed up when his request to talk to Jo was denied. Determined to examine all of the evidence again, Jo worked into the night, studying a cleaned up version of Larry’s tape, which Crime Scene Photographer, Rachel Inns, insisted on watching with her. After telling Inns to go home, Jo was excited when she discovered new evidence previously unseen on the tape; a handbag that was not recovered from the scene the next day, and a ringtone from an unidentified mobile phone. As Jo headed out of the station, she was offered a lift home by Inns, and Jo accepted, only for Inns' mobile to phone to ring. Realising that Jo recognised the ringtone from the video of Cindy's murder, Inns attacked Jo. The next morning, a terrified Jo woke up to find herself bound and gagged. As she struggled to untie the ropes, Inns, tied Jo to a chair. Inns admitted that it was her who killed Cindy, but insisted it was an accident. Jo told her CID would be wondering where she was, but Inns frantically taped up Jo's mouth and leaving her at her house, headed to Sun Hill to find out what they knew. At the station DS Stuart Turner told DI Neil Manson that he was concerned about Jo’s unexplained absence, claiming it was completely out of character, and PCs Diane Noble and Will Fletcher were sent to Jo’s house where neighbours confirmed they didn’t see her return home the night before. Knowing that Jo had worked late studying the tape Larry had made, DS Stuart Turner and DC Grace Dasari watched it for themselves. They quickly realised that Jo was onto something when they heard the distinctive ringing of a mobile phone, and see a shot of a handbag at the scene. As nor Larry or Cindy had received a call on the night of the murder, they needed to work quickly to discover who owned the mobile. Meanwhile, a frantic Inns headed back to Jo, who persuaded her to send a text to DS Stuart Turner, saying that she was ill. When the Sergeant received the text from Jo’s phone, he suspected something was up from the language used. Inns headed back to the station and was alarmed to discover that the officers knew there was a third person at Cindy’s house on the night of the murder. As DI Neil Manson ran through all the facts with CID, he received a call which left him stunned – the mobile phone belonged to Inns, and during an urgent briefing, Sergeant Nikki Wright interrupted with the news that evidence Inns had been examining had gone missing – a handgun and some bullets. After discovering Inns and Cindy were old childhood friends, DC Grace Dasari identified an old warehouse they used to visit, by examining photographs Inns had taken. Armed response officers were deployed to the scene, and arrived just in time, as Inns had Jo on her knees, with the gun to her head. A petrified Jo attempted to negotiate with Inns, who explained that she killed Cindy because she'd forgotten about her, and because the strong friendship they had shared as children meant far more to her than it did to Cindy. Jo empathised, and was eventually able to convince Inns to put down the gun, and she was arrested.
Jo investigated the murder of a teenage girl named Kelly Porterfield in 2008, which uncovered a nationwide network of trafficking of underage girls for sex, involving suspects Andy Donnelly, Kenton Farmer, and Jake Clegg. After spending the night outside the residential unit of one young girl, Jen Kilshaw (Chloe Hesar), to ensure her safety, Jo was berated by Superintendent John Heaton for becoming too involved. It was decided that DC Mickey Webb would go undercover at one of Clegg's properties which was suspected of being involved in the abuse of young girls, and Clegg was arrested and interviewed by Jo, who was forced to release him because of a lack of evidence, much to her frustration. Later, intelligence suggested that a group of girls were to be trafficked from Sun Hill to Glasgow that day, and Jo was horrified when she received a call from Jen saying she had been abducted by Farmer. Desperate, Jo and Mickey eventually broke through Donnelly's tough exterior to find out where Clegg and Farmer had taken the girls. The DCs finally traced them, and were horrified to see two van loads of distressed and drugged girls, including Jen. DC Mickey Webb insisted that they wait to for back up, but Jo was worried that it would be too late for the victims. Both officers jumped out of their car and while DC Mickey Webb arrested Farmer, Clegg saw red and attacked Jo, who was eventually able to restrain him, and all suspects were arrested. Jo's motivation is second to none, and her instinct and determination has served her and her colleagues well in the past. No-nonsense and headstrong, she'll do anything to nail a crook and makes sure the colleagues she works alongside pull their weight too. She is motivated by her sense of responsibility to the public. The job is a vocation and a way of life – she’s never wanted to do anything else. She’s a tough cookie, but is still prepared to learn and grow from every experience she encounters.
In 2010, Jo, DC Terry Perkins, and DC Jacob Banks investigated the case of a sixteen-year-old girl named Janine Clark, who claimed to have been gang raped by her boyfriend Mark Watts and three of his friends, Greg Holbrook, Paul Hayes and Leo Cooper. Janine claimed that while Watts, Hayes and Cooper raped her, Holbrook held her down while Hayes filmed it on Watts' phone. The four boys were arrested and when Watts was questioned, the arrogant teenager said the group sex was initiated by Janine. Holbrook was then interviewed by Jo, where he told her how two weeks before, Janine had started kissing him in front of Watts. After the interviews, DI Neil Manson held a briefing and clashed with Jo who insisted that whatever Janine may have done in the past, it did not mean that she consented on the night of the incident. As the investigation continued, it became clear that without the mobile phone footage, Jo didn’t have a case. Horrified that the boys might get away with the rape, Jo begged for more time on the case. With egotistical Watts, confident that he’d be out of Sun Hill soon, Jo was determined to get a confession out of Holbrook, the weakest member of the group. With only two hours left until they were due to be released, Jo was able to get Holbrook to confess to what really happened that night, and of the whereabouts of Watts' phone with the incriminating video evidence. Jo was then able to charge all four suspects, impressing her DI.
Shortly afterwards, Jo investigated a case of harassment, after Sun Hill officers were called to a flat owned by Ami Ryan, where suspect Jeremy Preston had broken in during the night. Preston claimed he was drunk and disorientated, and broke in thinking the flat was an abandoned warehouse, looking for somewhere to sleep. The case took a sinister twist, however, when Jo discovered that Ami and Preston worked in the same building, and forensics showed that Preston’s fingerprints had been found on Ami’s kitchen knives and above her bed. Jo believed that Preston may be stalking Ami, but she was shocked when Preston told her that he and Ami had been having an affair, and to prove it, he revealed intimate details about her. He told Jo that Ami made up the story that he broke into the flat in order to hide the fact they had just slept together from her boyfriend Josh Hunt. Ami was horrified by the allegations Preston had made and insisted to Jo that she’d never even met him before. Jo soon realised that Preston had been abusing his position as a security guard, by using the CCTV cameras to follow Ami’s every move around the building where they both worked. In particular, he had been using a camera nearest to Ami’s desk in order to spy on her computer and her personal belongings, in order to gain an insight into her life. Jo realised that the only way she could stop him from getting to Ami again was to make him confess. During an intense interview, observed by Sergeant Callum Stone, DI Neil Manson, and Superintendent Jack Meadows, Jo attempted to make Preston see that he’d been living out a fantasy. When Preston finally confessed to breaking into Ami’s flat in order to hurt her, Jo suddenly discovered that she was the one in trouble. Preston jumped up and locked the interview room door, savagely assaulting Jo. Sergeant Callum Stone, DI Neil Manson, and Superintendent Jack Meadows ran from the observation room and struggled to break down the interview room door, only to find that Jo has over powered restrained Preston herself. Preston was later charged with harassment, and for assaulting a Police Officer. Jo became one of Sun Hill’s most experienced and professionally respected DCs, so in 2010 when Superintendent Jack Meadows needed a replacement for Inspector Dale Smith's former Sergeant position, he knew she’d be right for the job. With twenty years’ service under her belt – five of them at Sun Hill – and her Sergeants' exam passed on the QT, Jo felt well equipped for her latest career challenge.
Not long after her promotion, Jo's skills as a hostage negotiator were used when Carly Wilcock barricaded herself in the home of her ex-husband, Alan Wilcock, with their four-year-old son Mattie Wilcock and a gun. Alan told DS Max Carter that when Carly was charged for possessing cocaine, he won custody of their children, Mattie and fifteen-year-old Adam Wilcock. Jo was surprised when Adam told her that he’d recently been communicating with Carly over Skype and he suggested Jo could do the same. Jo made a real connection with Carly, who told the Sergeant that Alan had been neglecting their children. She went on to say that the cocaine she was arrested for possessing actually belonged to Alan, and when the drugs were found in his car, she took the blame for him, knowing how important his job was to the family, but that he used her conviction in order to divorce her and gain full custody of their children, because she was suffering from postnatal depression. She wanted to know why Alan hadn’t been arrested, and why she could not have custody of their children. Jo gently tried to persuade Carly that the police could help her, but Carly became increasingly distressed and Jo realised that Mattie was in real danger. Jo swore that she’d do everything she could to help Carly, but said she had to leave the house and put down the gun. Carly eventually agreed and as officers prepared to get her out, Jo got ready to greet her at the door, but DS Max Carter clashed with Jo, telling her in no uncertain terms that Carly would be met by armed response officers, not Jo. Jo furiously told him that Carly was likely to lose it if she was greeted by CO19, and was proved right when Carly tentatively attempted to leave the house, but ran back inside with Mattie, terrified, when met by a wall of firearms. As Jo continued the negotiations, Carly became more disturbed and hysterically fired another shot. CO19 were ordered into the house, and Carly was shot and killed. Jo was distraught, and squared up to DS Max Carter, blaming him for Carly's death, claiming that had she been allowed to meet Carly when she originally agreed to come out, it would never have gotten that far. Full of laconic wit and sarcasm, Jo can banter with the best of them, but she is also incredibly warm hearted. She is someone to be relied on, and many officers at Sun Hill, DC Grace Dasari in particular, would call her a dear friend as well as a colleague. Although she remains approachable and level-headed, her PCs are soon to discover that their new Sarge is no pushover – and she is not afraid to take on Sergeant Callum Stone or Inspector Dale Smith either, if the case demands it.
Famous quotes containing the word masters:
“Disciples be damned. Its not interesting. Its only the masters that matter. Those who create.”
—Pablo Picasso (18811973)