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EastEnders Wiki
EastEnders Wiki

Paul Coker was the son of the late Laurie Coker and the grandson of Les and Pam Coker. Paul was murdered in July 2016, aged just 20, after falling victim to a homophobic attack carried out by Simon Atmore and his friends while Paul is on a night out with his boyfriend, Ben Mitchell. In 2021, Simon was released from Prison after serving five years inside for Paul's murder.


1996-2015: Backstory[]

When Paul was younger and he looked up to his grandfather Les Coker. He would sit on Les' knee in the Hurst, and would pretend the Hurst was the Batmobile, that he was Bruce Wayne and Les was Alfred. Following his father’s (Laurie Coker) death and his mum leaving the family when he was quite young, Paul has grown up in the protective bubble of his doting grandparents, Pam and Les Coker.

Paul is closer to Pam and they will happily spend weekends together, but he has a strained relationship with Les, after discovering during his GCSE's that Les was having an affair with Claudette Hubbard, which resulted in Paul leaving Walford for two years as he didn't want to ruin Pam's life, so he went travelling and worked as a Club Rep, Paul went to a fancy dress party in Bodrum, he went as a Spanish flamenco dancer and had fun until he found out some beggar was using his castanet as an ashtray.

2015: Arrival[]

Paul arrives in Walford after travelling in Turkey, and angers Ben Mitchell when he accidentally knocks over Lola Pearce and then flirts with Ben. Paul sees his grandfather Les Coker with Claudette Hubbard, the woman with whom Paul believes Les is having an affair. Paul later meets Ben and realises Ben is gay but is hiding his sexuality. He sneaks his phone number into Ben's pocket, and as Paul is about to leave again, Ben texts Paul so they meet. They share a passionate kiss and arrange to meet again, and Paul returns to Albert Square where Les and his grandmother, Pam Coker, see him. He refuses to stay with them, and later tells Les he knows about his affair, but Pam convinces him to stay. At Pam's birthday party, Paul tells Les he discovered the affair with Claudette before he left for Turkey and tells Les to end the affair or he will tell Pam about it. He then gets a job at Dean Wicks's hair salon, Blades. Paul is in direct competition with Lola for a permanent role when Dean says he will decide based on a cut-and-colour. Pam promises to be Paul's model, but, in an attempt to get him to work for Les and his funeral parlour, she gets him to perform the hairdressing on a corpse. Instead, Paul invites Ben round. Although Paul is initially beaten to the role by Lola, it is because Pam put Dean off hiring him so he would work for the Cokers. Paul then learns that Les has visited Claudette, so he tells Claudette's son, Vincent Hubbard that Les and Claudette are having sex. Paul secures the job after Lola leaves, while Vincent discovers evidence of the affair. On confronting his mother, she resolves to deal with Paul. Claudette visits Paul at work and tells him he is mistaken.

At the 100th anniversary party of the Cokers' funeral director business, Paul sees Les with Claudette, despite Les telling Claudette not to go. Paul tells Pam that Les is having an affair, and she tries to confront Claudette, but loses her nerve and tells Paul not to mention it again, before later admitting that he is right. After finding Les's tie at Claudette's house and being given conflicting explanations from her and Les, Pam leaves to stay with her sister. Paul comforts Les, causing him to lose his job at Blades, and tries to contact Pam, asking her to come back to Walford. Paul collects Pam from her sister's house and finds Claudette and Les together back at home. Pam urges Les to end the affair or their marriage is over.

2015-2016: Relationship with Ben Mitchell[]

Paul tells Ben he wants a more serious relationship with him, but Ben declines, saying he wants to keep it casual, and that he does not want his girlfriend Abi Branning to find out. After they are caught having sex in the car lot by Ben's father Phil Mitchell, Phil disappears and Ben blames his relationship with Paul so ends it. After Pam asks Paul to leave the house for a day so she can sort out her marriage troubles, he returns early and is shocked to find Les dressed in women's clothes. Pam leaves Walford again despite Paul's pleas and Paul comforts Les. Paul's attempts to reconcile them fail.

Paul shares a drink with Ben at The Queen Victoria pub but when Abi arrives, angry that Ben has made plans without her, Ben leaves Paul on his own. When Les realises Paul is upset, Paul tells his reunited grandparents that he is in love with Ben but cannot have him. Les encourages Paul to tell Ben his feelings, which he does, saying Ben must choose who he really wants and who he really is. However, Ben stays with Abi when she tells him she is pregnant, but when she says she has suffered a miscarriage, Ben seeks comfort from Paul. Ben then discovers that Abi lied and was never pregnant, leading to the breakup of their relationship; Ben and Paul then start dating, and Ben kisses Paul in public. When Pam and Les discover Paul and Ben have reunited, Pam upsets Paul by refusing to give them time alone, and she tells Les that Ben does not deserve a second chance with Paul. Pam lies to Ben to stop him seeing Paul but then promises Les that she will let Paul make his own choices. Ben tells Pam it is over between him and Paul because of her, but when she tells Paul, he is angry and she then tells Ben she is jealous that he makes him happy and apologises; Ben and Paul reunite.

Paul learns that Les and Pam are being blackmailed over Les' cross-dressing. The stress of the situation causes Les to suffer a heart attack while dressed as his female alter-ego, Christine, and because of this, Les' employee Billy Mitchell also discovers the cross-dressing. When Les is discharged from hospital, he and Pam decide to retire and move away, worried that Les's secret will be exposed, so Paul and Ben decide they should take over the running of the funeral parlour. Meanwhile, Paul's mother, Jenny Rawlinson arrives in Walford looking for Paul, and she sees him working on the flower stall. Paul does not know who she is, and when they talk about family, Jenny is surprised to discover that Pam has told Paul that his mother was never interested in him and that his father is dead. Later, when Paul sees Jenny with Pam at home, he accuses her of being the blackmailer and angrily sends her away.

2016: Attack[]

Paul is happy when Ben kisses him in public and declares his love. They get matching tattoos and go for a night out, while Pam is forced to put off telling Paul the truth about Jenny. The next morning, Ben's half-brother Ian Beale gets a call from the police saying that someone they believe is Ben has been critically injured following an incident and is in hospital. Ian and Phil are later told Ben has died, but when identifying the body, it is Paul who is dead. The police then confirm that they are opening a murder investigation. Ben returns to Walford, severely injured, and tells his family that he and Paul went clubbing in Soho and on leaving, four men confronted them and they ran, getting split up in the process and accidentally taking each other's jackets. Phil tells Ben that Paul has died, leading to him breaking down, while Shirley Carter tells Pam and Les. Pam is in denial until they identify his body.


See also[]