Vincent Alexandros Patterson Jr. (2001- )
Carlo Teodorowych & Jack Monger; Max Theoharis & Marcus Spinetti; Jack Riddle, Harry & James Roberts; Nicholas & Cameron Stevens; Cooper Scott; Felix Dean (2007-2014); Matt Little (2014- )
Poor VJ Patterson didn’t have the best start in life as his father Vinnie was arrested just moments after he was born. His mother Leah began raising him alone, with help from his father’s ex-cellmate Jesse McGregor. It was Jesse who acted as a father figure to young VJ when, at six months old, it was discovered he had a problem with his hearing and needed a cochlear implant operation, to repair it. On his first birthday VJ was watching a video of his father dressed as a clown when Leah received a call to say that Vinnie had died in prison on the day he was due to be released.
With his mother Leah acting as a surrogate mother for Sally Fletcher and Flynn Saunders and moving on and later splitting with Jesse, VJ spent an awful lot of time with grandmother Stella in The City or Colleen at The Caravan Park. He seemingly slept through a siege in his house when his mother and The Bay residents were held hostage by crazed Sarah Lewis and gained a new father figure when his mother got together with Dan Baker.
On his second birthday VJ was delighted to receive a surprise visit from a a giant, friendly bear. A letter left by ‘the bear’ revealed that it was in fact his father Vinnie, not dead but in witness protection who had come to say goodbye. With his mother Leah choosing not to follow Vinnie into witness Protection she began to forge a new life with Dan. VJ soon gained a step brother in the run up to Leah and Dan’s wedding, when Dan’s troublesome son Ryan arrived. Things were thrown into further disarray when Ryan’s equally troublesome mother, Amanda arrived on the scene but neither of them succeeded in preventing the wedding and VJ getting a new Dad.
Leah’s new relationship was not without problems though when step-father Dan got into debt through gambling and VJ’s life was threatened. Leah and Dan split up and Dan began drinking, even going so far as to be drunk in charge of VJ. A curious VJ drank the remnents of alcohol while in Dan’s house with Dan asleep and promptly collapsed. He was rushed to hospital but survived and although initially furious, his Mum eventually forgave step-dad Dan and they became a family once more.
With Dan back at The Patterson House and Ryan and VJ’s cousin Drew living at the house full time, VJ got his first experience of a proper family. He and Ryan regulary played with Drew and he established a close bond with Dan. His Uncle Alex returned to the bay and spent a lot of time minding VJ but when VJ found a lot of tablets in his backpack and nearly took them, he was only just stopped in time. Unknown to VJ they were illegal drugs and Alex was sent away in disgrace.
He was upset when Ryan chose to go back and live with his Mum in the city following Dan’s job offer in America but it was nothing compared to how upset he was hen he found out Dan had died in an abseiling accident. Ryan and Amanda returned for the funeral and VJ and Ryan shard a touching moment in bed with Leah where she told them they were still a family.
In the aftermath of Dan’s death, VJ hung around a lot with Miles. His mother though wasn’t keen on VJ spending so much time with Miles and stopped him from seeing him. VJ ran away from her while in the Den but turned up safe and well at Miles house. Leah allowed him to see Miles again but after Miles forged a relationship with Kirsty she changed her mind. VJ rebelled and began giving his mother a lot of grief.
At the nippers he misbehaved so badly that she took him home and later when Colleen was minding him he ran away and got trapped in a storm drain. Jai rescued him but Annie was trapped trying to help him and VJ was made to feel very guilty. He had a heart to heart with Leah and confided that he missed Dan. She agreed to let him spend time with Miles again and they started going on regular fishing trips.
He caught Bridget snooping in this mother’s things but bought her lie about wanting to organise a surprise for Leah. He did let Rachel in on the secret though after she asked him if Leah had mentioned anything.
He was kidnapped by Brian Lawler in an attempt to get hold of Leah’s money. He almost escaped twice, the first time on his own and the second time when his mum arrived to rescue him but Brian managed to keep hold of him both times. He was finally rescued after a police chase and reunited with his mother.
When he heard that Leah was dating again he began playing up for Leah, causing her to stop dating George. Meanwhile he complained that he had nobody to practice soccer with until Roman offered to help. He was devastated to learn that Leah and Roman were dating because Roman was his friend but he came round after Roman was injured in an accident.
Whilst spending time with Miles he discovered a severed hand in the sand and was traumatised. He recovered after a chat with Roman.**He was less enamoured with Gardy, who scared him with a story about playing football with severed heads. He seemed to get on well with Robert Robertson, who fed him a story about being given an alliterative name because he wanted to be a superhero.
VJ began acting in a moody manner and didn’t seem to have any friends to hang out with. He threw a water bomb at a car containing Miles and Ruby when they stopped for him at a zebra crossing and although he escaped Miles realised he was responsible when he recognised his bag at the Diner. Leah gave him a serve but didn’t notice bruises on his leg. Having also disabled the parental guidance on the computers at the Diner, allowing customers to access adult sites, VJ admitted he was being bullied by older boys. When Miles was attacked after sticking up for him, Romeo persuaded him to stand up to his tormentors and VJ revealed his bully, Riley, was responsible. However, Miles’ attempt to handle the situation led to him being charged with assault. VJ was ignored by the other boys at school, so much that Leah considered moving him. After a newspaper article portrayed Miles as the villain of the piece, VJ angrily confronted Riley and threw his bag into the sea. He then overheard Riley’s dad shouting at him for getting his mobile phone wet and told Miles, Leah and Alf, which led to the charges being dropped.
VJ was slightly bemused when he listened in on Charlie discussing her and Angelo’s relationship with Leah and was initially unhappy to hear that Leah was dating Elijah, aware that her relationships tended to end in misery, but Elijah’s stories of school humiliation soon won him round, as did a game of football. He was shocked when he overheard Leah and Elijah discussing Vinnie’s relatively recent death, angry to know that Leah had kept the fact he was alive from him. He asked to speak to Elijah, who told him how Vinnie had spoken of him often before he died, helping him understand the situation. He spent days repeatedly watching the video Vinnie had made for him before going to prison and when Elijah suggested taking him and Leah to Vinnie’s grave VJ readily agreed. The road trip caused the three of them to bond and gave VJ a sense of closure.
VJ was pleased when Elijah offered to take his class spelunking but the trip was a disaster as the caves were declared unsafe because of the rain and then their bus was stolen. The class took refuge in a barn, unaware there was a gas leak inside, and had all passed out before Miles found them and got them into fresh air. Afterwards, Leah and Elijah decided to cheer him up by holding an “I Almost Died But I Didn’t” party. VJ was unfazed by the news that Leah and Elijah were getting married and seemed to cope with Lijuan and Song’s visit equally well, even if he did end up having to wear earplugs to cope with their snoring.
VJ seemed to grow more accepting of Elijah, especially when he gave a talk about his work as a missionary at the school as Elijah’s parent, and even asked Elijah if he could call him Dad. When Leah ended the relationship, however, VJ was supportive of her and worried when she collapsed at the Diner but continued to correspond with Elijah, using Miles as a go-between. He realised Leah had found out when he discovered the letters were in a different order to how he’d left them and gave her permission to read them. She decided that she and VJ should fly out to see Elijah and VJ excitedly started reading up on where they were going. Before leaving, he briefly met Lily Smith and they seemed quite taken with each other. VJ returned having had a good time on the trip, but when Leah revealed she and Elijah weren’t getting back together he told her he already knew and accused her of treating him like a baby. Spending time with Lily perked him up however.
He was annoyed when Leah started spending time with Robertson, since he was still unhappy about the break-up with Elijah, and when Leah halted his repeated phone calls to Africa. He decided to run off to Africa to see Elijah and, after booking the tickets with Leah’s credit card, went off with Lily for company. They were picked up while hitch-hiking but got nervous when the driver wanted to take them to his house and hid in a nearby garage, where they were found by Robertson and Graves. He admitted to Leah that he’d thought if he ran away to Africa she’d have to talk to Elijah. He and Lily later shared a dance at John and Gina’s wedding reception.
VJ found it easier to accept Robertson’s role in arresting Alf than most of Summer Bay, acknowledging he’d just been doing his job, and revealed he’d been part of a Christian chat group on Facebook since their visit to Africa. He took advice from Dexter on how to deal with high school bullies and managed to outrun Jase McKenzie (although Dexter copped a beating instead). He was soon settled in at school and on all the sports teams. When Will took Lily on the run with him, she phoned VJ and he passed the information on to Robertson, but it was too late since they’d already moved on. Lily readily forgave him after Will was caught and gave him a kiss as she said goodbye. He was intrigued by the River Boys and joined them for a surf but was knocked off his board and nearly drowned, having to be rescued by Heath. After remembering what happened, he cleared the River Boys of wrong doing and was pleased when Brax gave him a full size board. Brax encouraged him to go surfing and he enjoyed the experience despite cutting his arm, being disappointed when Brax told him to listen to Leah when she expressed her disapproval.
VJ was pleased when Elijah returned to town but less pleased when he learned he had a new family. Leah insisted Elijah explain things to him and they managed to clear the air. After a chat from Miles, he got on well with Elijah’s stepson Thabo, playing football with him. He learned Thabo was ill when Elijah objected to the exercise, and told Leah he wanted to be friends with him. He visited him in hospital when he fell ill from his heart condition and went to his funeral after he died following surgery. He insisted on visiting Elijah in hospital when he was beaten up and wanted to help out at the homeless shelter in his absence, saying Elijah would help other people in those circumstances when Colleen worried it was too dangerous. He took part in the surf carnival, enjoying himself despite finishing well behind the winner. When Leah began hanging out with Miles, he quickly became suspicious over their claims to be looking for whales and spiders. Hewalked in on Miles and Leah kissing in the Diner kitchen and told them he already knew and was all right with it. He later left Ruby and Casey alone to talk after Ruby said she wouldn’t give him any more lifts to school otherwise.
He was somewhat bemused when Miles tried to tell him about the facts of life and took delight in dropping him in it with Leah. He continued to admire the River Boys’ lifestyle, despite Miles’ attempts to talk him out of it, and was not helped by Casey’s surly attitude towards doing the right thing. He was concerned when Leah became pregnant, recalling how she and Dan had split up when they had a miscarriage. When the town was hit by a storm, Ruby took him to the evacuation centre at the school but he ran off to look for Leah. Elijah found him on the beach and took him to Leah at the Diner.
When Lily returned to town, VJ went to call on her but Gypsy made her tidy her room instead. He and a friend, Ed, later checked out the empty school, which had been damaged during the storm, but when they threw a rock through a window they heard a cry from inside. VJ went to check on it and found an injured Felix Bezmel. He took him home to try and patch him up in secret but they were caught by Miles. He was present at the demonstration against the school closure.
He was at the house when Leah miscarried and called Elijah when he couldn’t get hold of Miles. He then met with Lily and they compared their fears about Leah and Miles splitting up and Gypsy dumping Lily to go off with Mark. He played a game of cricket with Leah, Miles and Lily but then heard Leah telling Miles she blamed him for persuading her to go ahead with the pregnancy. He told Miles he was sick of the fighting and Miles promised things would change but VJ promptly walked in on them arguing about a bookcase so Miles moved out. VJ was upset Leah wouldn’t let them spend time together and ended up running away to his grandparents in Melbourne to prove a point. He was uncomfortable when Leah lied to Miles about being back and told him the truth when they ran into each other in the Diner. Shortly after, he was there to say goodbye to Miles when he left town.
Leah took an overprotective attitude to VJ after Charlie’s death, to the point he helped Alf hand out flyers as an excuse to get away from her. VJ began taking an interest in Brax and asked Jayden Post, one of the older Summer Bay students, about joining the River Boys. Jayden pretended he could join if he vandalised a police car and stole Brax’s surfboard, which left him in trouble with the police and being suspended from school. Brax agreed to look out for him and helped him do up a motorbike to take his mind off things. After the two of them and Leah had spent the day together, he asked Brax if he would ever love anyone again. He was furious when Brax responded by saying they couldn’t work on the bike anymore, having realised Leah had feelings for him, but Brax later changed his mind.
When Ruby was arrested for drug possession, VJ told Brax what was going on. He later went by the house to work on the bike with Brax, only to see Casey kissing their teacher Henri Brown. He told Brax and later talked about it with Casey, who asked him to stay quiet. However, Gina saw them talking and VJ admitted the truth to her. He was bullied by Jett James, who stole his school uniform and punched him when he confronted him about it and then, after he told Gina, forced him to pretend they were friends and give him his lunch and free food at the Diner. He skipped school to work on the bike with Brax and talked to him about the bullying. He tried to commisserate with Jett over his mother’s death but Jett lost his temper when he caught VJ talking to some other boys about it and punched him.
VJ slowly began to become friends with Jett when Gina paired them up on a science project and encouraged him in his search for Richard Bozic, the father he’d never met, talking about never knowing his own father. This resulted in Jett taking VJ’s phone to ring all the Bozics in the area, until VJ grabbed the list and refused to return it until Jett handed the phone over. When Liam and Romeo both came to stay with VJ and his mother, VJ sided with Romeo after Liam began a relationship with Indi, Romeo’s estranged wife. He eventually forgave him after hearing Liam give Jett a talk about needing to make things up to people, confessing to breaking a vase when Liam offered to take the blame.
John began training both Jett and VJ for the surf carnival. When Jett mocked VJ for coming last the previous year, despite repeatedly losing to VJ in practice, VJ was on the verge of quitting until Romeo gave him a speech about not letting others tell you what you can do. When he told him about how the children of separated parents found it easier to get away with things, Jett led VJ into stealing some fireworks planned for the surf carnival and letting them off. They were caught by John and Gina and Leah punished VJ by making him clean the Diner and the wharf, although she eventually let him participate in the carnival and he won his race. When Leah started dating Jamie Sharpe, VJ initially enjoyed the perks, with Jamie taking him for a ride on his jet ski and buying him video games. However, Leah then started keeping him off school, saying she needed his help at the Diner, and got upset when she found him talking with Jamie. When he heard that Jamie wouldn’t leave Leah alone, he told Jamie that Leah didn’t want to see him, prompting Jamie to grab hold of him and call him a liar, at which point Leah and Liam stepped in. Leah promptly took VJ and fled town, not even letting him say goodbye to anyone.
He returned to town with Leah several months later and quickly renewed his friendship with Jett, who told him he had a girlfriend now and got him to help wind up John, who had been exaggerating a back injury, by telling him how well Harvey had been running the surf club in his absence. VJ was shocked to learn the girlfriend in question was Nina Bailey, who he had been on bad terms with since primary school. Jett suggested he secretly liked her but the truth was more prosaic: He had always believed Nina had stolen one of his Pokemon cards, even though she denied it. VJ explained to Jett that he lost the card and Nina claimed it was hers when it was found, with VJ getting a detention for arguing, after which he turned the school against Nina by labelling her a thief. He told Jett to choose between them and he chose Nina.
When Pippa Saunders, who Leah had carried as a surrogate, was revealed to have a genetic condition, mitochondrial disease, Leah had VJ tested but didn’t tell him why. Jett told him he’d overheard Sally and Roo talking about him, which resulted in them becoming friends again. Wondering what was going on, VJ and Jett checked Pippa’s file and found out about her condition. They went to her to offer their support only to find out that she hadn’t been told. They made up for it by offering to look after her at school.
When one of Jett’s games went missing, VJ convinced him Nina was responsible. Jett eventually solved the argument by not only finding out John had sold the game behind his back, but that VJ had used the card he had accused Nina of stealing as a bookmark and forgotten about it. VJ and Nina finally made their peace but Nina had a harder time forgiving Jett for accusing her. He and Jett looked after Pippa to hide the fact the town were throwing her and Sally a farewell party.
Kept in the dark about why the MacGuires were hiding at the house, VJ innocently told Murray Granger that Zac lived with them. He was horrified when Leah got a job at the school and warned her to watch out for the Mangrove River kids but came round somewhat after she talked Matt’s father into making him come back to school and walked her home.
When Irene went away, Jett and VJ began planning to throw a party in the beach house, despite Chris, Spencer and Sasha still being in residence, and arranged to have supplies for the Diner redirected there. The party went well until Irene arrived home in the middle of it and they were both left with a mountain of chores to do as punishment. When Jett found a necklace buried in a box at the caravan park, with a note saying it had been bought with stolen money, he and VJ went looking for the owner and found out it belonged to Marilyn. When Jett used the information to try and get Marilyn to do their chores, Leah punished them by volunteering them for the Year 7 buddy system she’d set up.
He was invited along to John and Marilyn’s abortive elopement to keep Jett company, then learned of Leah’s romance with Zac when Matt showed a video of the two of them kissing to the school. He was angry at being kept in the dark and when school bully Tyson Lee wound him up about it he punched him and got suspended. Jett suggested he was better off playing Leah and Zac against each other than causing trouble but he failed to turn up to John and Marilyn’s wedding. He continued to get hassled when he returned to school and Tyson tipped his food on the floor at the Diner. Sasha and Matt offered to make up his eye to look like Tyson had punched him but Leah and Zac walked in on them. Tyson pretended that VJ had pushed him into a locker and he found himself interrogated by Sophie and Leah, until Zac uncovered the truth. However, he was upset Leah didn’t take his word for it, although he eventually forgave her and Zac. VJ was then kidnapped by Tyson and his friends and left tied up in the bush. He got free but fell down an embankment and when Nate and Brax found him Nate also fell; he was impaled on a branch and VJ, who had suffered a minor head injury, ended up having to help Brax carry him to safety.
VJ had a hard time getting over the incident and told Zac he was having nightmares and felt guilty about Nate. When Zac suggested they go away for a boys’ trip with Alf, Spencer and Matt, he readily agreed. He revealed he had had a tattoo done and asked Zac to keep it quiet but Leah was furious when she found out. VJ wanted to drop out of school but Leah refused to discuss it and Zac was reluctant to go against her. Zac suggested he go to TAFE instead but VJ wasn’t keen on the idea. He played up in Zac’s class, resulting in Leah grounding him, but sneaked out to a party at the beach house. Leah and Zac brought him home and Zac took him to the gym, saying he could confide in him but the final say was Leah’s. He continued to clash with Leah, staying out late. Matt didn’t help matters with a speech about how grown-up VJ was and VJ pointed out Matt couldn’t find direction in his own life. He and Leah eventually agreed that VJ would do his best for the rest of the year and make a decision afterwards. When his report came, he and Leah were surprised at how well he had done. He and Matt made plans to turn the spare room into a games room but Leah moved Nate in instead. When Matt was offered a chance to perform with Phoebe in the city, VJ encouraged him to go for it. He let slip to Sasha what was going on and was left indulging in pizza and video games with Zac while most of the town went to the city to watch.
VJ then had to cope with the news that the bus carrying them had crashed and Leah was unaccounted for. When she was found, she had a bleed on her brain and VJ was angry that Nate spoke to Zac before him. He refused to obey Zac’s instructions, instead going for a joyride with Jett in one of the surf club buggies, and as a result missed seeing Leah before she was transferred to the city. Zac took him there to see her. On their return, they were informed that an attempt to take her off the ventilator had failed and she would never wake up. VJ wanted to go to the city with or without Zac but Irene and Roo worked out a roster for him to stay in the Bay and make regular commutes.
He debated about going back to school, then lost his temper when Sasha wanted to put a photo of Leah up in the Diner, feeling it felt like a memorial, and punched Matt when he suggested they go back to school together. After a chat with Jett, he apologised to Matt, agreed to the photo being put up and decided to go back to school. When Zac missed dinner with him because he was busy helping Hannah, VJ felt that he couldn’t rely on him. He spent the night at the Palmers’ before heading to the bus stop and going to Leah’s hospital in the city. Zac eventually brought him home but he had a hard time adjusting, snapping at Marilyn, refusing to let Matt have Sasha over as per Leah’s wishes and eventually breaking down in tears at the gym. When he got into a row with Jett, John and Zac started giving them boxing lessons. They wanted to have a proper bout but the grown-ups refused. They continued to put them through training with the promise of a bout eventually but the boys realised they were stalling and confronted them about it. John and Zac agreed to let them fight but Zac changed his mind on realising Leah wouldn’t have approved. Storming off in anger, VJ found Oscar offering to let Spencer hit him and punched him. Zac suspended him as a result.
Nate told VJ to stop blaming other people so he decided to go and stay with his gran during his suspension so he could see Leah. When he returned, he told Zac that Stella was willing to let him stay with her full time. Zac agreed but then Leah woke up and VJ told Zac to forget about it. He was among the students who went on the Anzac Day trip to the war memorial in Canberra and helped look after Alf when he fell ill. He told Zac he was glad he had sticked around, which resulted in Leah finding out about their plans and trying to throw Zac out. VJ stopped him and told Leah it was his idea, at which point Leah slapped him. She apologised the next morning, then revealed she was having an MRI. It eventually became clear she had an aneurysm but despite VJ’s pleas she refused to have surgery. He was concerned when she returned to work and apparently forgot an argument she had had with Zac.
He overheard her yelling at Matt at work and took her home, agreeing to keep it from Zac. However, when Leah lost it during a careers talk and shouted at Maddy, Matt convinced VJ they needed to talk to Zac. He helped look for Leah when she got lost in the bush and spent a night at her bedside in hospital. She agreed to the surgery but told him that she had given Zac instructions to turn off her life support if she ended up brain dead. VJ was distressed but accepted it when her surgeon, Sean Gleeson, said it was normal. When Leah ended up on life support, VJ began to regret convincing her to have the surgery but she soon recovered. Zac then asked VJ for permission to marry Leah and VJ readily agreed but Leah turned down the proposal. However, VJ convinced her that all that mattered was she loved Zac and brought Zac back to the house so Leah could propose to him. He said goodbye to Jett at his farewell party at the Diner.