LONG-time bad man Phil Mitchell has caused quite the stir over his years in Walford.
But while he has landed himself in plenty of trouble, EastEnders viewers made a shocking discovery about the character.
Portrayed by Steve McFadden, Phil made his first appearance in the BBC One soap in 1990.
Since then, the notorious villain has been the cause of havoc in Albert Square, committing numerous crimes, including armed robberies.
He has also been involved in storylines including affairs, alcoholism, relationship struggles, feuds and kidnapping.
Phil's list of victims has only been made longer throughout the decades.
He has been – mostly unintentionally – the cause of death of four characters including Alan Hall in 1994, Luke Browning in 2017, Vincent Hubbard in April 2018 and, most recently, Dennis Rickman Jr., in 2020.
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The baddie is also connected to the deaths of a series of EastEnders characters including Danny Moon, Carl White, Lucy Beale and Tina Carter.
In total, Phil has tried to murder a total of 19 characters in three decades, from Dan Sullivan to Callum Highway.
His temporary departure, in 2003, following an infamous armed robbery, hasn't stopped him from becoming one of Walford's biggest villains.
Off-screen, Steve made the most of his long break from the show to focus on pantomimes.
He returned to EastEnders on a permanent basis in 2005.
While he has narrowly escaped death on numerous occasions, Phil has also managed to avoid a criminal record despite his arrests.
Fans of the long-running drama made the shocking discovery in a Digital Spy forum made public on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, and titled "Phil Mitchell – does he have a criminal record?"
"I was under the impression that he did", stated one user, reminding that, although Phil managed to buy The Vic alongside Grant, Peggy was chosen as landlady.
"Neither of them could be licensed due to having criminal records", the user added.
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Another joined in: "didn't he get done for a burglary 15 years ago? I remember he was on the run for an entire episode."
A third one chimed in, making frustrations known by claiming Phil's return to EastEnders in 2005 was "utterly absurd."
"The fact that Phil was able to return at all in 2005 was utterly absurd. Not only was he caught red-handed during the armed robbery, but he subsequently escaped custody and went on the run for 18 months. They would have thrown the book at him", the user said.
One person closed the debate with the following statement: "despite spending loads of time in prison on remand and even more time on the run to escape arrest, I don't think Phil has ever been convicted of anything."
In recent episodes, Phil has been threatened by Kim Fox who vowed to take him down after learning about his involvement in her husband Vincent's death.
The soap villain resorted to what he does best after finding out Denise had grassed on him during a New Year's Eve special and went on the run.
Phil is not alone because, in his new desperate attempt to avoid legal repercussions, he has brought his son Raymond along, leaving Denise horrified and devastated.
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