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|Portrayed by||Freddie Jones|
|First appearance||6 November 2005|
|Introduced by||Kathleen Beedles (2005)
Gavin Blyth (2009)
Sandy Thomas is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Freddie Jones. He made his first appearance on 6 November 2005. The character departed in March 2008, but returned to the show in February 2009.
Ashley and Sandy were estranged, due to Sandy helping Ashley's mum die from a terminal illness. However, Ashley's new wife Laurel and granddaughter Jasmine (Jenna-Louise Coleman) are pleased to have him around. Sandy makes friends with Daz Eden (Luke Tittensor) and Shadrach Dingle (Andy Devine) but makes an enemy of Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox). He is accused of kidnapping Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) at Christmas 2005 after she went missing.
After a major fall-out with his son, Sandy moved in with Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) and Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook). Father and son reconciled but Sandy stayed with Alan and Betty. Sandy left Emmerdale in March 2008. Sandy returned in February 2009, when it was revealed that Jasmine had visited him when she left Emmerdale. He and his lady friend helped Jasmine find a flat but she went on the run again after Marlon, Eli, Ashley and Laurel Thomas came looking for her.
Jasmine told Sandy what had happened to Shane Doyle (Paul McEwan) and that Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) was on remand for manslaughter. She felt guilty and wanted to confess but Debbie and Sandy insisted she go on the run. She returned to Emmerdale briefly to collect some money Sandy promised her and witnessed Danielle Hutch (Nicola Stapleton) being arrested. She went to Debbie's court hearing and confessed - just as Debbie was about to plead guilty to manslaughter. She was charged with manslaughter and pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to four years in prison, leaving Debbie and her family devastated.
Sandy stayed at the vicarage but overcrowding meant he and Doug had to share a room. Unhappy, he tried blackmailing Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler) to move out by telling her his age; it didn't work. Resorting to desperate measures, Sandy and Laurel's father, Douglas Potts (Duncan Preston) wrote Nicola a love letter, apparently from Jimmy (Nick Miles), including an invitation to move into Mill Cottage. She accepted, easing the overcrowding but Ashley threw Sandy out after his preoccupation with Jasmine led to Gabby Thomas (Annelise Manojlovic) damaging the computer in Café Hope. Ashley was furious when Gabby told him that she thought if she was naughty, she would be sent to prison and could ask the governor to let Jasmine go because it was making her grandad very sad. Debbie found him sleeping in the shed in her garden. Sandy and Ashley reconciled but Sandy, seeing Diane was lonely, asked if he could move into The Woolpack and she agreed.
Sandy stayed living at The Woolpack until December 2009 when Laurel, who is in disgust at Ashley choosing Sally Spode (Siân Reeves) over her, and the children left the village. Doug was equally disgusted and moved into The Woolpack himself so Sandy returned to the vicarage, wanting to support his son. He was thrilled when Ashley and Laurel managed to patch up their marriage, returning to the village with the children.
In 2012, Sandy was involved in a domestic violence storyline, being violently attacked by Ashley on numerous occasions, whom after a while tried to persuade him to live in an old peoples home. However, Gabby saw one violent act, and after Laurel witnessed Ashley slapping Sandy, she freed Sandy from the abuse and divorced Ashley. Sandy and Ashley managed to rebuild their relationship and Sandy became friends with Sean Spencer (Luke Roskell).
Jones announced his decision to quit in January 2008, remaining on-screen until March, however in October 2008, 7 months after deciding to quit, it was announced that he was to return to Emmerdale.