Joe Pritchard arrived on the Chatsworth Estate in Series 6. Joe became friends with Jamie Maguire when they both started playing on The Jockey's football team. His charismatic and funny personality endeared him to many of the local ladies, including Jamie's sister Mandy. Joe takes the role of main antagonist for series 7.
Mandy and Joe began a relationship but it wasn't long before Joe's roving eye settled on his friend's wife, Karen Maguire while this reveals him as a sadistic sociopath. The two began an intense affair that culminated in Karen becoming pregnant and unsure of the babies father. Karen gave birth to a son, Connor Maguire but the stress of his paternity and guilt over her affair, combined with the stress of the recent death of her best friend Mandy, lead her to strange behaviour that was revealed to be Bipolar Disorder.
The other members of the Maguire Family soon soured on Joe when they found out he was beating Mandy. The usually strong and often violent Mandy refused to end things with him and demanded that her family not get involved but Jamie soon gave Joe a beating in return. This act of retribution violated Jamie's parole (from his murder conviction) leading to his mother Mimi taking the blame.
After Joe bought YVonne's shop in Episode 703, he operated a number of illicit enterprises from the storeroom such as unlicensed gambling, which involved the participation of a number of Chatsworth residents and Jockey regulars. Liam briefly gambled at Joe's Shop to raise money when the Gallagher household fell behind on their payments. After beating Liam in a game, Joe increased Liam's debt and began hassling him to pay up. But Liam turned the tables on Joe in a dramatic scene where he threatened to take his own life by jumping off a building. Motivated by genuine concern, or perhaps foreseeing the fall-out that Liam's death would bring him, Joe, with Frank, Ian and Carl present, promised to help Liam write off his debt.
Joe and Karen continued their affair, the guilt of which began to get to her. Eventually Joe convinced Karen to leave Jamie and start a new life with him and "their baby" Connor. As although Joe bluffed his way through convincing Jamie that Connor wasn't a Maguire, a DNA test revealed Connor to be Jamie's son after all. Scared for her safety after admitting the affair, Karen prepared to leave for her new life with Joe. But her true feelings were beginning to form and she was starting to regret her decision. Joe hurried her along with his typical cold attitude and Karen was looking so harried that her passing best friend Ian Gallagher stowed away in their car boot without thinking.
During their journey to the house Joe had bought for the couple, Karen started to make her true feelings for Jamie known. Angry and impatient Joe struck her, he pulled the car over and began to throttle her. Jumping into action Ian hit Joe across the back of the head, accidentally killing him. With few words Ian left Karen and Connor at the side of the road, promising to take care of everything before driving away with Joe's corpse, presumably to bury him.
Karen briefly mentioned Joe late in Series 8 when talking to Kelly about her feelings for Marty Fisher. Karen explained how the "grass is always greener" but the reality is different and you could end up losing everything by leaving someone you love for someone your attracted to, as she almost did with Joe.