This article contains major spoilers. Discretion is advised.
Des was one of the most well known officers at Sun Hill. He was involved in several major storylines, one of which involved the death of several Sun Hill cops. Another involved kidnapping another officer, and one which nearly killed a long term Sun Hill officer.
Before Sun Hill
Scouser, Des Taviner transferred to Sun Hill from the Flying Squad as Dale Smith's replacement who had recently transferred to SO19. He also had his Area Car Driver's license, which made him the perfect replacement for PC Vicky Hagen, who had lost her license at Sun Hill, with his new Super to be Tom Chandler, his nemesis at Hendon, where there were some intense times, including the rape of Chandler's girlfriend Louise Marsden at the hands of Chandler himself. This helped Des, DC Mickey Webb, & DCI Jack Meadows when they plotted to bring him down.
First Appearance at Sun Hill
Des Taviner first appeared in Season 17's episode A Week of Nights, Part One where he was paired with PC Di Worrell. However, Taviner was ruling and when Worell refused to do things his way, he demanded to Sergeant Craig Gilmore that he wanted her out of the Area Car. He requested to have her replaced by the most unexpected officer, station weirdo PC Reg Hollis, putting Worrell with Hagen and Sergeant Matt Boyden in CAD. However, they bonded well together, although Hollis disagreed when they picked up two attractive girls waiting for the night bus so that Des could flirt with them. In his first few days Des had an eventful time, being shot at whilst pursuing armed robbers was the first of many, or breaking up a riot on the Jasmine Allen Estate when a suspected rapist was arrested, and a second riot when some youths starting smashing up Gilmore's panda car.
First Year at Sun Hill
In his first year Des always seemed a bit out in the relief, such as being a little too involved when PC Roz Clarke was having money troubles. He was friendly with PCs Ben Hayward, Sam Harker, Nick Klein and DC Danny Glaze, but when it came to Dave Quinnan and Tony Stamp he was a loose cannon. In late 2001 he took a Special Constable, Terry Knowles under his wing. However, as Des and Reg went to Southend to salvage Reg's relationship with his girlfriend, Knowles, with Klein, pulled over a woman and tried to get her phone number instead of giving her a ticket for running a red light, and she thrusts a metal comb into his neck, killing him. At the funeral Gilmore discovers that Des and Reg were in Southend on shift with the Area Car, and a confrontation saw the arch rivals in a full blown punch up.
In an unfortunate turn of events of tailing an armed robber, Des' shiny new Toyota sports car was stolen and after a chase the robber swerved past another car, colliding with a skip. Des was angered and ignored a call from DC Mickey Webb for urgent assistance, to vent anger at the driver, as Chief Inspector Derek Conway was killed by a man with a petrol bomb.
Following the death of Chief Inspector Conway, long term friend Inspector Andrew Monroe started a collection for Conway's widow. Superintendent Chandler, the long term nemesis of Taviner, was seen as a hero as he donated 50 pounds to the collection as Des looked on disappointed as he had no money on him at the time. After arresting a youth drug dealer Des took £200 in 50s giving one to Monroe, as well as to Reg for him to give, but Hollis discovers they're fakes, leaving Des to frantically get rid of the fakes for real money. However, after failing to convince Monroe that he would deliver the money to Conway's widow, Des is left stuck in the Area Car in a holding position, biting his nails hoping Monroe won't notice the fakes. During the day painter and decorator Harry Fullerton puts two gas canisters in Monroe's office because his equipment was going missing, causing anger from Monroe. When youths were noticed near an Asian owned warehouse, Sergeant June Ackland and PC Jim Carver went in, but Ackland was held hostage so Carver burst in as all units on site responded, and started beating up the suspects, so most of the youths surrendered.
Back at the station DCI Meadows, DCs Webb, Glaze, Paul Riley & Chandler's girlfriend, which caused tension between Chandler and Webb (who was her best friend and hated Chandler because he sent Conway to a meeting he was supposed to go to, which caused Conway's death), DC Kate Spears as well as PCs Di Worrell, Ben Hayward, Cass Rickman & Sam Harker relaxed in CID. Meadows, Webb, Glaze & Rickman went off to the pub, where everyone was planning to meet. Rickman tells Harker she doesn't want a relationship with him saying he's "Boring", and he becomes depressed going out to the balcony with a bottle of wine. As Spears goes to confront Chandler saying she'll tell everyone about their affair and that he went to have sex with her as opposed to going to the meeting where Conway was killed. As he tries to silence her by kissing her attempting to have sex saying "It's what you want" she knees him in his ballsack and walks away smiling. As Ackland and Carver have an intimate moment, the power goes out. Outside Fullerton tells Des he cut the CCTV cables, but Des doesn't believe him and walks away, but threatens him when he says "You're worried about that 50, aren't you?". As he tries to force Monroe's door, a petrol bomb suddenly flies into the rear yard as a riot occurs outside. Alarm bells ring as the station tries to work what was going on. A youth climbs over the wall but Des grabs him, but he leaves a bag with petrol bomb inside. Des smashes a window, unbeknown to him that Harker was looking from the CID balcony. Des lit the bomb and threw it into Monroe's office and turned to see Harker watching. Des checked the burning office and saw the gas cannisters. He ran back yelling to Harker "Get back!" as an explosion swept throughout the building via the corridor with the Sergeant's office and CID destroyed as well as part of the canteen.
Des was told by Reg and PC Nick Klein that Worrell, Hayward, Monroe and Riley died. Spears and PC Polly Page were injured, but then the trouble started as Reg says that Sam was still fighting. Des knew that if Sam spoke out he'd be found out. After a short time, Kate Spears died, causing Webb to agrily blame Chandler in front of the press, and told Meadows he wanted him destroyed, and Meadows said We'll do it my way. Des attempted to shut Sam's machine down, but he decided against it, but then Sam died of his injuries, so Des and Danny Glaze worked at pinning the case on a supremacist, Jeff Simpson, who definitely killed Conway, because he was beaten up by DS Vik Singh, which appeared to be the ultimate insult. After Des put glass fragments on clothes of Simpson's and lightly sprinkled petrol on the same pair of clothes. Danny and Des then lied saying he confessed on the way back to the station. This was enough for the CPS but when Simpson calls Des in with visiting orders, he tells him to withdraw the story about the confession and when Des refuses, Simpson's thugs smash up the windows on the Area Car. As Des continues to refuse, Reg is kidnapped. He manages to escape and CID link the kidnapping to Simpson, and he goes down, and as he leaves he accuses Des of starting the fire, and it appears he knew.
Last Year in the Met & Relationship with Sheelagh Murphy
Des goes on leave after the trial and returns grumpy and irrational. With his enemy Chandler recently killed himself and gone, making room for a new Super, He argues with close friend Reg saying We're not mates and I don't want to go for a drink with you, why would I? because he was feeling guilty about the fire and Reg getting kidnapped. After recklessly chasing a robbery suspect, the suspect vehicle crashes and ignites, and Des pulls the driver out, but the passenger is trapped, so Des rushes in to save the teenage tearaway from the burning car. In the hospital Des asks Reg why he didn't abandon Reg when he was disrespectful to him, to which Des said Because I've never had a friend like you. Des gets angry saying I had to tell someone, and I didn't want it to be you. He looked at Reg and said It was me. It was me that threw the firebomb into Sun Hill! I killed them! I killed them all!
The next day Des talks down a man about to commit suicide, but as soon as the victim walks off the ledge, Des takes his place, but Reg talks him down, so Des takes a few days off officially to deal with injuries from taking the teenager out of the car.
Upon returning, new PC, Gemma Osbourne a lesbian, turns him down and plays a tape recording of Des chatting her up over the station PA, a prank Des played on Vicky Hagen after she was arrested when a man she took home was found in her bathtub with a toaster. Des was put on the Area Car with Gemma and after a day of warring with her, she is put on the IRV. However after Gemma responds to a call, Des realizes he's closer and responds. Gemma does not take this lightly and changes her route taking an illegal shortcut changing her response time. When it appeared that Des would win, Gemma called a friend at Traffic to intercept Des, which was also illegal. Gemma caught up but unbeknown to them new Superintendent, Adam Okaro and Inspector Gina Gold were listening in to intercept unexpectedly. A call came through that someone else had taken the call and it was resolved, but Des and Gemma didn't stop. A silver Astra bolted down a one way street as the IRV and Area Car approached and stopped and as Des got out to shout at the driver, Okaro exited the car. Des and Gemma were both suspended from drivng for foot patrol.
Life turned around for Des when he fell in love with new Sergeant, Sheelagh Murphy but she was married. However this changed when ex-DI Sally Johnson, now a private investigator, came to Sun Hill on behalf of Simpson, saying he was appealing his conviction. As Sun Hill planned to unveil a plaque in memory of Conway and the six victims of the fire, Johnson warned DCI Meadows that if Des spoke at the ceremony it would be an insult saying You are asking a man who killed six of his colleagues what a tradgedy it was. Danny felt the pressure and resigned after stealing 20,000 pounds in an investigation. Sheelagh asked Des If Simpson didn't start the fire, who did? and he confesses his crime to her. Sheelagh, horrified, demands he tells Okaro or she will. Des and Sheelagh decide they'll think about it, because she was pregnant with his child. As she goes to tell husband Patrick, Gina Gold asked her to take Okaro to New Scotland Yard. However, someone replaces her, but Gold told Des that Sheelagh has gone to the Yard with Okaro, and he angrily returns to the car. As an announcement about a pursuit involving a youth robbing pensioners, who killed one due to heart attack, so he goes off the rails and angrily joins, but is stuck at the exit as Smithy and Stamp chased the car. However the car shows up at the exit so Des goes after it and chases it into a warehouse, where a fire starts and an explosion rips through the building. Reg is pulled out by Smithy, but as he goes back for Des, a landing collapses, crushing the suspect vehicle and the Area Car, causing another explosion. The other driver is pulled out dead, but Des is not found, even after a forensic sweep.
Return to Sun Hill and Death
Des returned to Sun Hill to see Sheelagh and her baby. However after telling her he wanted to run away with her, she tells him the baby died of a hole in her heart. When Des goes to see his child at the chapel of rest, Reg is guarding her although Des manages to overpower him. During the conversation, Reg says that Cameron Tait was present when Niamh died. So, Des abducted Cameron and Sheelagh, letting her go first and eventually when Cameron told him You always have to blame someone else, so you never have to take responsibility for anything. You blame yourself for what happened to Niamh. When asked if he had a death wish, Cameron truthfully responded, No, but you do. Des decided to tell Sheelagh where Cameron was.
Des returned to tell Reg how he felt about their relationship and that he was sorry but Reg failed to believe him and when Des tried to escape he was arrested by Gina Gold. However after a conversation with Murphy, she ignored him causing him to yell her name repeatedly, however he was quietened by a manic depressive who beat him, eventually to death. Reg seemed affected as he rushed to custody when he heard what happened and Tony Stamp seemed shocked watching the stretcher come out of custody. Des never woke up after his beating and was pronounced dead at hospital.
Des was mentioned after the second Sun Hill fire in 2005 with Tony Stamp responding to Smithy's Who would do this? with I've heard everything from terrorists to the ghost of Des Taviner.
- It is never fully explained how Des escaped the Area Car crash in Episode 159 & 160. Reg is seen being pulled out of the fire by Sergeant Dale Smith, but a landing exploded and another explosion ensues. After Don Beech escaped a boat explosion that supposedly killed him in Beech On The Run, and it was explained in Beech on the Run, but Des never explains why in his final appearances or the Uncovered special.
Crimes Commited by Des Taviner
As a criminal Des committed a litany of crimes. See below for the full list. However, many of the crimes committed resulted in no disciplinary action, even though there were witnesses.
- 2001: Plays police interview recording over station PA
- 2002: Goes to Southend on duty with Area Car
- 2002: Assaults Sergeant Craig Gilmore
- 2002: Steals counterfeit drug dealing evidence money from a criminal
- 2002: Sets fire to Andrew Monroe's office at Sun Hill, explosion kills six
- 2002: Trespasses into his blackmailer's home, intending to attack him.
- 2002: Illegally races police vehicle with PC Gemma Osbourne
- 2002: Assaults teenage suspect
- 2003: Accidentally causes injury to PC Reg Hollis, kills criminal in warehouse explosion
- 2004: Kidnaps PC Cameron Tait & Sergeant Sheelagh Murphy
- 2004: Holds PC Reg Hollis hostage twice
- 2002: Becomes friends with new Special Constable Terry Knowles, who is then killed by female suspect
- 2002: Sun Hill Fire 2002
- 2002: Suspended from driving for racing a police car
- 2003: Has Area Car stolen by yob
- 2003: Exposed for fire
- 2004: On the Run
- 2004: Killed in Sun Hill custody
PC Dale Smith
|Sun Hill Police Constable
Area Car Driver
PC Vicky Hagen
|Sun Hill Area Car Driver
PC Roger Valentine