Jack’s brother Ryan in Silent Witness

Jack’s brother Ryan is getting out of jail this week in Silent Witness, but why was he there in the first place?

What is its backstory and will it stay forever?

Here’s everything you need to know about Owen McDonnell’s character.


Owen McDonnell plays Ryan Kelvin in Silent Witness (Image: BBC One)

Read more: Silent Witness Season 24: Who is the new cast member Genesis Lynea and where have you seen her before?

Who is Jack’s brother Ryan Kelvin?

Ryan Kelvin is the older brother of Jack Hodgson.

He uses his mother’s maiden name, Kelvin.

Silent Witness viewers first met the character of Ryan in the episode Fraternity on Series 17.

He recently appeared again in the episode Bad Love when Jack was forced to face the secrets of his own hidden past.

Viewers watched Jack visit his older brother Ryan Kelvin in prison.

We also found out that Ryan may have a secret daughter named Cara who is deaf.

What is the backstory of Jack’s brother Ryan Kelvin?

In October 2009, Ryan got into a drunken argument with another man outside a pub, apparently over a woman.

Ryan allegedly hit the man pretty badly, broken his jaw, and later that month arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

His younger brother Jack was the only witness and had to testify against him in court.

Ryan was subsequently convicted of GBH.

Jack’s testimony created a rift between them, and they did not see or speak to each other for five years.

Viewers later discover that it was actually Jack who broke the other man’s jaw, but Ryan took the blame on himself.

After serving his sentence, Ryan got into a relationship with a pub landlady named Lizzie Kennedy.

Owen McDonnell as Ryan Kelvin in Silent Witness
Ryan is about to destroy his brother’s life – again! (Image credit: BBC One)

Why did Ryan Kelvin go to jail?

In the episode titled Fraternity, police arrest Ryan for the murder of 15-year-old Katie Bowman, the daughter of one of Lizzie’s friends.

Viewers know that Ryan was with Lizzie and Katie was Lizzie’s daughter Hannah’s best friend.

Police found Ryan’s blood on Katie’s body, and Hannah admits she saw them arguing.

Ryan insists that he is innocent and asks his estranged brother, Jack, to help him.

Jack releases Ryan on bail.

However, when Hannah is also found murdered, Ryan becomes a suspect again.

He attempts suicide by cutting his wrists in Jack’s shower, but the police find and treat him in time.

Ryan is eventually acquitted of the murders, but Jack discovers that he made Katie sleep with Christy Nash in order to blackmail him.

Jack reports Ryan to the police and hands over the evidence of his crimes, which leads to his arrest and jail.

Silent witness episode Brother’s Keeper

Jack’s brother Ryan is released from prison and lives with Jack and her father Conor.

As a result, Jack struggles to keep peace with his brother and keep the secret that he could be Cara’s father.

Jack later worries that Ryan has put Cara in danger and is torn between loyalty to his brother and protecting his family.

As the case comes to a head and Jack’s feelings bubble to the surface, Nikki is brought closer to Nikki emotionally.

At the time of writing, and without wishing to leak spoilers, we can’t reveal whether Ryan will appear in later episodes.

Jack visits Ryan in prison
Jack visits his brother Ryan in jail (Image: BBC One)

Read more: Silent Witness: Adam should prevent Nikki and Jack from finally getting together in series 24?

Jack’s brother Ryan Silent Witness: Owen McDonnell plays Ryan Hodgson

Owen McDonnell plays Jack Hodgson’s brother in Silent Witness.

Actor Owen will be known to fans of crime novels.

He is probably best known for his role as the long-suffering Niko Polastri in Killing Eve.

That year he appeared as the seedy Frank Mercer in the second season of The Bay.

Owen’s character was the man behind Stephen Marshbrook’s murder – he didn’t get his hands dirty, however, he paid a hit man to do it!

That year he also appeared as Mark Ryan in Three Families.

Owen previously played Jack in Mount Pleasant.

Silent Witness continues on Monday and Tuesday, September 27 and 28, 2021 at 9 p.m. on BBC One.

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