Leigh-Anne Williams is less than 20 years old and has already suffered the suicide of her mother when she was a child. Both Leigh-Anne and her brother Gavin were abused by their father, and they worry about their younger sister in her teens. Their father married their mother's sister and they have a young daughter.
Leigh-Anne has had a baby daughter Rebecca and is very protective toward her. The father is in prison (for an undisclosed reason.) She is visited by Annette, Rebecca's paternal grandmother, who suggests that Rebecca would be better off in her care.
Leigh-Anne has made quite a few significant enemies in her local area. She is involved in constant confrontations with her Turkish Muslim neighbour Hassan Osman, and is so desperate to support her baby that she will commit shocking acts. She tricks a man out of £30 by pretending to be a pimp. She gets a younger girl (under the age of consent) to have sex with the man, who is much older.
Three of the few people who have good relationships with Leigh-Anne are her brother Gavin, and Gavin's friends Robbie and Stephen. But they are actively involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, and Leigh-Anne is a willing participant in many of their crimes. She receives regular visits from a social worker, and fears that Rebecca will be taken away from her. When Leigh-Anne sees her social worker talking with Hassan Osman, she fears that Osman is trying to get Rebecca "taken into care" by the state.
Leigh-Anne, Gavin, Robbie and Stephen are at a library one day when they come across Osman and his daughter Julie, an ex-girlfriend of Gavin. Julie's father Osman effectively ends their relationship by his disapproval. An argument starts as they leave the centre, and it turns into a full-scale street fight in which the three boys attack Osman while Leigh-Anne looks on.