James Francis Tate is the only child of Frank Tate and his second wife, Kim. His paternity was initially in doubt as Kim had been having an affair with Dave Glover. Dave died saving James from a fire before the paternity tests showed Frank was the father. Kim expressed doubts about the tests, thinking Frank's money meant he could have paid for the test results to be altered; however, after Frank died in 1997, Dave's father Ned agreed to a second DNA test, which proved James was Frank's son. The following year Kim married Steve Marchant. They were involved in a hit and run accident while stealing a horse, and Kim put all the blame on Steve. In January 1999, she escaped with James in a helicopter to avoid being arrested.