|Joseph "Joe" Macer|
|Portrayed by||Ray Brooks|
|First Appearance||19th August 2005|
|Last Appearance||26th January 2007|
Pauline Fowler - Intracerebral haemorrhage after being bludgeoned with a frying pan by Joe.
Joe was widowed in 1982, and has two daughters, Megan and Shelly , from his first marriage. Joe meets Pauline Fowler, a dancing companion at their salsa dance club, and they become good friends. Joe falls in love with Pauline and proposes to her once in The Queen Victoria public house. She turns Joe down but he does not give up, and asks her again in February 2006 after falsely telling her that he will leave for Dubai; this time she accepts. On their wedding day on 17 February 2006, Pauline has doubts about remarrying, but goes through with it any way. However she chooses to keep her surname as Fowler as she doesn't want 'a new identity'. Soon after, Joe admits his former criminal career to Pauline, revealing that his lifelong friend Bert Atkinson served time in prison for Joe's crimes, and that he still owes Bert. Joe refuses to choose between Pauline and Bert, and Pauline throws him out of the house. After he and Bert convert Pauline's loft, Pauline forgives him and lets him come home, but their relationship remains uneasy as she becomes obsessed with her irrational vendetta against her daughter-in-law, Sonia .
In December 2006, Pauline falsely claims that she is dying of a brain tumour. When Joe goes to the hospital and discovers this is untrue, he leaves Pauline. In one final encounter, Pauline tells Joe she never loved him, insults his lovemaking and tells him she wants nothing more to do with him. Joe responds in kind by calling her "a block of ice in bed," and then smashes her family photographs, insulting in turn her late husband Arthur, ("a criminal"), her dead son Mark ("diseased") and her daughter Michelle ("little scrubber"). The scene ends with Pauline smashing a plate on Joe's head. Joe leaves to spend Christmas with his daughter, and when he returns on Boxing Day he is at first shocked to find out that Pauline is dead, but later gets drunk and tells everyone he is pleased she is dead. When the police arrive at Pauline's funeral with news of a murder inquiry, Pauline's son Martin first believes Joe must be the suspect, and tries to strangle him, until Sonia owns up and announces it was her the police are investigating. Joe later packs his belongings and goes to live with Megan. He promises Martin he will return for Pauline's second funeral, but he later claims that his car broke down on the motorway, so he was unable to attend.
On 25 January 2007, Joe unexpectedly returns to the Fowlers' house, much to the horror of Pauline's friend Dot Branning, who is inside the house at the time. Joe reveals to Dot that he had gone back to the house on Christmas Day to try and patch things up with Pauline, but that she harshly told him that he [Joe] was leaving, not her, and continued to insult him and his ways. He told Pauline he felt like lashing out at times, and she dared him to "be a man" and hit her. Joe then describes how, In an anger, he picked up a frying pan and hit Pauline hard on the head with it. He left the house after the incident, at which point Pauline was fine, and that was the last time he saw his wife, who later died due to a brain haemorrhage caused by the blow to the head Joe had given her. Dot then proceeds to try and convince Joe to tell the truth but he refuses. She then attempts to ring the police but Joe snatches the phone out of her hand and throws it away. Dot's husband, Jim meanwhile, arrives at the Fowlers' house to find Dot. Seeing that Joe is holding Dot captive, Jim rushes over to save her and a struggle that follows results in Joe falling back and crashing out of a window and falling through a market stall. Jim looks out of the window as Joe lies on the street, dead.