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Ralph-paton-jamie bamber

Actor Jamie Bamber as Ralph Paton

In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Captain Ralph Paton is Roger Ackroyd's stepson from his late wife's previous marriage; referred to sometimes as his "adopted" son. He is described by Poirot as a "young man with very dark hair and eyes, and a handsome face". Ralph is engaged to Flora Ackroyd.

He stands to inherit his father's wagon wheel company Ackroyd and Son, as well as Fernly Park, Roger's house.

Role in the novel[]

When Roger Ackroyd died, Ralph was the prime suspect for his murder. However, he wasn't arrested or questioned because he was nowhere to be seen when Roger's body was found. He was actually hidden in a clinic near Cranchester, with the help of Dr Sheppard. The real killer was actually Sheppard, who had protected Ralph because he was most likely going to be accused and executed.

He uses his engagement with Flora as a cover, as he has already married Ursula Bourne. When she finds out, however, Flora isn't particularly disappointed or angry at Ralph. She claims she would've done the same if she was Ralph.


In Agatha Christie's Poirot, Ralph was portrayed by Jamie Bamber. He first appears talking with his stepfather in a factory about his engagement with his non-blood related cousin Flora. He is last seen in a reunion that Poirot organizes. This happens in the novel as well.