Kate Sugden

Katherine Mary "Kate" Hughes (also Hammond and Sugden) is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale played by Sally Knyvette.

Kate Hughes
Emmerdale character
Portrayed bySally Knyvette
First appearance24 August 1988
Last appearance22 August 1991
Introduced byMichael Russell
ClassificationFormer; regular


Katherine Hammond was born in Sheffield in 1951. In 1968, she met and fell in love with David Hughes and they married later that same year when she was just 17 years old. Kate gave birth to the couple's first child; Rachel in mid 1971 and their son Mark was born two years later in November 1973.

David Hughes was in the army so the young family spent much of the 1970s moving from place to place. Kate never adapted to this way of life and eventually the couple grew apart and in 1984, Kate ended their marriage, the divorce was finalised in 1986. Kate spent the next few years raising her children alone in her home town of Sheffield. By late 1987, Kate grew dissatisfied with city life and wanted to fulfil her dream of moving to the countryside and against Rachel and Mark's wishes, she relocated to the village of Beckindale in 1988.


Kate arrived in the village in 1988 and clashed with Joe Sugden after he shot her Dog but they eventually fell in love and in 1989 she moved into Emmerdale Farm. She married Joe later that year much to the disappointment of her children Rachel and Mark who wanted their mother to remarry their dad; David. In 1989, Kate decided to quit her job as a waitress and checkout girl in Hotten and with her savings she bought out her brother in law; Matt Skilbeck's (who was departing for Norfolk following the collapse of his second marriage to Dolly) share of Emmerdale Farm and she thrived in her new career as a farmer. She made friends with Dolly, Sandie, Kathy and Amos during her time in the village.

In August 1990, Kate accidentally ran down and killed Pete Whiteley in her car, leaving her riddled with remorse. Pete happened to be Rachel's lover with whom she was having an affair. She was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment. When Kate was released from prison in July 1991, she tried to make a go of things again with Joe but she was unable to make her marriage work so Kate told him that their marriage was over. Realising there was nothing left in Beckindale for her, Kate left the village in July 1991 and headed for her home town of Sheffield. Rachel and Mark opted to remain with Joe at the Farm rather than move with her. Ironically, Rachel and Mark who hated the idea of moving to the countryside three years earlier grew to love it. Kate never appeared onscreen again. She didn't attend the funeral of her son Mark in January 1994 after he died in the plane crash in December 1993 nor did she attend the funeral of her second husband; Joe when he died in a car crash in 1995.

After the actress Sally Knyvette refused offers to return to the series, Kate died offscreen of a brain haemorrhage in Sheffield in July 1997. Her daughter Rachel and former brother in law Jack Sugden attended her funeral.