|Neil Manson||Service Record||List of Appearances|
D.I. Neil Manson is no stranger to controversy and his personal life seems to be the one thing that can make or break his career. His swift rise through the ranks initially seems to his new team at Sun Hill largely thanks to his connections: his father-in-law is Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Pearson. An ambitious DI, Manson seeks to discredit DCI Meadows where possible, and quickly becomes unpopular with his exacting requirements and seemingly sexist attitudes. He also earns the enmity of DS Ramani DeCosta and DC Terry Perkins when he constantly reassigns officers away from CSU and PPU. Unhappy with Manson, DC Eva Sharpe digs into his background in an attempt to find any black marks against his name, but is unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing. DCI Meadows, however, hears a rumour that Manson's father-in-law uses rent-boys, and tells Eva. Eva confronts Neil, who is obviously taken aback at the allegation, and goes to confront his father-in-law. DAC Pearson tells him that the rumour is groundless. Angry at the interference into his personal life, Manson organises to have Eva reassigned, blackmailing DCI Meadows over his relationship with a prostitute.
Manson gains many collars and much credit for using information provided to him by DS Don Beech, the detective who puppy-walked him in CID. Beech, turned supergrass, makes a deal to get himself transferred to another jail as a reward for information. DS Hunter and DI Manson accompany Beech, but he subsequently escapes after holding a gun to their heads, putting a question-mark on Neil's integrity. Neil's year goes from bad to worse when it is revealed that his father-in-law did, in fact, use rent-boys. Feeling betrayed, Neil forces Roy's resignation, and Roy leaves the country to resettle in Spain. He has a relationship with PC Andrea Dunbar, and was about to leave his wife Philippa for her when he realised she was an undercover journalist. Despite this, he agrees to give them a chance but she is killed in the second Sun Hill fire. Superintendent Adam Okaro discovers that Neil had been having an affair with Andrea, and asks Neil to take time off to get over her death. His wife Philippa learns about Neil's affair from DS Phil Hunter, who was the only other person aware of the affair at Sun Hill.
While on leave after Andrea's death, Neil comes under investigation by the NCS team which now-DS Mickey Webb is part of. Mickey tells Jack Meadows of Neil's affair with Andrea. Neil discovers a bug in his smoke alarm after burning dinner, and decides to go into Sun Hill to discover whether the bug was planted by the police or somebody else. He is not told anything, but Jack learns that the NCS are investigating whether Neil is influencing a witness in a major money-laundering trial who is a client of his wife, Philippa. This woman is a key witness in a case, and the NCS team have evidence of Neil meeting with her. Neil tells Jack that he met with the witness because the witness was afraid for her life. An informant of Neil rings him and asks to meet with him regarding the witness and the trial. Neil agrees, going to the meeting place and waking up covered in blood next to the body of his informant. Jack arrests him for murder.
Neil convinces Jack to help him prove that there is a mole in NCS. Along with DC Suzie Sim and DS Phil Hunter, Jack investigates the case, at one point even placing Mickey under suspicion. Neil agrees to put himself at risk, calling the DPS and telling them he has information on a mole inside the NCS in an attempt to draw the mole out. The DPS then attempt to transfer Neil to another prison, and he is nearly kidnapped on route. This kidnap attempt is thwarted by a swift intervention of Trojan officers, led by Jack. Jack, Neil, Suzie and Phil prove his innocence and reveal that the mole in NCS was actually Mickey's fiancee. After being bailed, Neil goes home and attempts to reconcile with Phillipa, telling her that he wants them to have a better relationship with the warmth and affection he shared with Andrea. Phillipa rebuffs him, telling him that he needs to decide whether to settle for the relationship they have or walk out on them completely. Neil decides to he won't settle for their relationship and returns to work.
After Superintendent Adam Okaro takes leave, Neil expects to be promoted to Acting DCI. However, Jack is suspicious of the nature of Neil's relationship with DC Suzie Sim. Neil and Suzie had previously worked together, and were shown to be close friends with Neil confiding in Suzie about his marriage, telling her that he and Phillipa were trying to give it another go as neither wanted to end their marriage. Suzie tells him that he can count on her as a friend, and they share a friendly kiss which Jack witnesses. Pulling Neil up on his behaviour, Jack accuses him of being a womaniser, but is left with little choice but to promote him to Acting DCI anyway.
When his wife, a barrister, is assaulted in court, Neil immediately rushes to hospital to support her. She is grateful for his support, but refuses to press charges against the man who assaulted her, Toby Crawford. Toby had accused Phillipa's client Gavin Sullivan of pimping him, and had been upset when Phillipa secured a verdict of not-guilty. Returning to Sun Hill, Neil is swayed by DC Suzie Sim and DC Jo Masters who persuade him to pursue the case against Toby already, especially in light of a break in at Gavin's flat. However, Jo and Suzie's investigation discovers that DAC Pearson is back in the country, meeting first with Gavin and then with Phillipa. Neil confronts Phillipa, who tells him that she had no choice in defending Gavin and was not aware her father was in the country but that she knew he was coming. Frustrated at being lied to, Neil is on the verge of walking out when Phillipa relents and tells him she defended Gavin because he was blackmailing her father with a video tape. Certain that this tape shows Roy with an underage rent boy, Neil confronts his father-in-law. The two exchange angry words, and Neil is goaded into punching and telling Roy that he knows about and is looking for the tape. Neil returns to the station to find that Jo and Suzie had found the tape which confirms his suspicions that Roy used under-age boys. Neil then learns that Roy had gone to Gavin's flat in an attempt to recover the tape and was stabbed. Phillipa, unaware of the tape's contents, is devastated when Roy later dies but is grateful for Neil's support. Given that Gavin was going to go to trial for Roy's death, Jo convinces Neil to tell Phillipa what had happened, which he does. She lashes out at him and blames him for her father's death. Assaulting him in front of the shocked relief, she flees to Spain with their five year old son Jake. Superintendent Prosser agrees to Neil's request not to go on leave, instead seconding him to MIT.
While at MIT, Neil is contacted by dying convict Vince Parker. Vince Parker, serving a twenty year sentence for armed robbery claims that he was responsible for a murder and he bribed Meadows and Price to lose the evidence. According to him, Jack demanded more money and when Vince refused they framed him for armed robbery. Neil investigates this allegation along with DCI Frank Keane from the DPS. It emerges that Dougie planted the evidence for the armed robbery on Vince because he had had an affair with Vince's wife and was the father of the son that Vince had raised as his own. Jack, however did have one minor true role in Vince Parker's allegations, he withheld a witness statement which provided Vince with an alibi. Neil discovers this old witness statement, signed by Jack, giving him the chance to have Jack fired and himself promoted. Manson, after some deliberation, tears up the witness statement and tells Jack that "some things are more important than the job."
Neil becomes heavily involved in an investigation into the disappearance of seven-year-old Amy Tennant after school one day. As SIO, Neil also takes over from Suzie as the FLO, becoming close to Amy's father James in the process. When faced with the issue of telling James that resources need to be allocated elsewhere, Neil experiences a taste of James' agony when his own son, Jake, goes missing. After Jake is found, Neil promises James that he won't stop looking and that he'll stay on the case instead of reassigning it as he was intending to do. Amy is missing for a year, during which time it becomes evident that James depends on Neil to get through this period without his daughter, and Neil becomes more and more emotionally involved. At the one year anniversary, new leads give Neil and the recently promoted DI Samantha Nixon the clues to find Amy and return her to James. This investigation clearly has a huge impact on Neil, forcing him to consider the victims more closely than his crime rates. Later, Neil becomes involved in a disturbing case involving a child killer. Seeing the effect the case had on Neil, Jack suggests that he take some time off to see his son. Neil agrees, and takes a three month sabbatical with Jake in Spain. Returning, he confides in DC Stevie Moss that he was "less than successful" with Jake.
While initially filled with a burning ambition and disregard for victims of crime, the personal crises Neil experiences while at Sun Hill noticeably mellow him out, although he remains close-lipped and emotionally repressed; described by Jo Masters as 'po-faced' and Stevie Moss as 'grumpy'. Despite his taciturn nature, his team gradually discover that behind the stony exterior, Neil is a quirky individual; Grace Dasari discovers he was a teenage raver in the late 80s while Stevie Moss discovers his fondness for magical tricks. While poor himself at dealing with emotions and other people, Manson is shown to be a canny detective who is very good at reading other people. Neil's lack of a life outside the job following his divorce is also remarked upon by his colleagues. Still, his fair and firm management style, while often humourless and strict gain him the respect of his subordinates. It becomes clear that he develops strong, mutually supportive relationships with Inspector Gina Gold and Inspector Dale Smith who eventually succeeds Gina as Inspector. Despite the initial friction between them, it is also clear that he and Superintendent Jack Meadows have a high level of mutual trust and respect and are on friendly terms. Neil has a particularly close rapport with DC Grace Dasari, a friendship that is speculated to deepen after his son Jake is diagnosed with leukaemia in April 2010. When Grace is in danger from kidnappers in an undercover operation, Neil pulls the team out. Later, he asks Grace on a date, and Grace accepts. She tells him their dating is weird, but good weird.
- Main article: Service Record
- 2003 - Promotion : Detective Inspector
- 2003 - Transfer To Sun Hill From Stafford Row
- 2005 - Accused of Corruption later Cleared.
- 2005 - Promoted to Acting DCI.
- 2005 - Transfers to MIT
- 2006 - Transfers back to Sun Hill
- 2008 - Leave of Absence: 4 months to spend time with his son.
Family and Relationships
- Phillipa Pearson (divorced: prior to 2005)
- Andrea Dunbar (affair: 2004-2005)
- Suzie Sim (flirtation: 2005)
- Grace Dasari (dating in 2010)
- Jake Manson (son, with Philippa)
- Roy Pearson (former father-in-law)
- Martha Pearson (former mother-in-law)
- Father-in-law using Rent-Boys
- 2005: Affair with Andrea Dunbar
- 2006 - 2007: Missing Amy Tennant
- 2010: Son is diagnosed with leukemia
Acting DI Samantha Nixon