Although they were a mismatched couple, it was a popular one. After dating him and then moving in with him, Maxine married Ashley in 1999, seeking security more than ever. The marriage was troubled from the start with Maxine accusing Ashley of having an affair and Maxine having trouble getting pregnant by Ashley. When he was in surgery sorting the problem, Maxine drunkenly slept with local GP Matt Ramsden and fell pregnant. Joshua was born in 2001. Although he was angered that Matt was the father, Ashley vowed to forget about the subject and continued to live a happy life with his wife and baby. By 2003, the Peacocks were happy but it was all going to end tragically. Maxine was murdered by Richard Hillman. He hadn’t intended to kill her though. His intended victim was Emily Bishop who was babysitting for the Peacocks. After bludgeoning Emily, Richard was disturbed by Maxine, who’d popped home to check on Emily and Joshua. While Maxine attempted to escape, Richard bludgeoned her as well. Emily survived the attack. At 26, Ashley was a widower and a single father.