Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April 2017
*Episodes may vary depending on region due to AFL
It’s the moment of truth for Summer Bay stalwart John Palmer (Shane Withington) this week, as he faces trial for the arson attacks he inadvertently inflicted upon Summer Bay.
It’s not been an easy road for John and his wife Marilyn (Emily Symons) as they simultaneously struggled to come to terms with two big revelations— that not only had John been responsible for the fires, but that his behaviour was the result of a brain tumour.
Whilst John underwent successful surgery to have the tumour removed, the knowledge that he had destroyed people’s homes, caused severe injuries to Marilyn, and hastened the death of Billie Ashford, saw him come perilously close to giving up altogether.
When John finally came round and decided to fight against the charges, the couple faced another setback when they found that the Legal Aid lawyer assigned to them didn’t care too much about the facts of the case, and just advised him to plead insanity. Thankfully Roo stepped in and organised for Morag (Cornelia Frances) to take over his case.
“John’s pleased he has some sort of hope here with a good barrister behind him” Shane told TV Week. “He doesn’t want to plead guilty because he doesn’t want to say he’s insane when he’s not.”
The trial doesn’t get off to a great start when Dr Bernice Chung (Karen Pang) claims that John fits the profile of a serial arsonist and is still a great danger to the community. Whilst Nate (Kyle Pryor) then takes the stand in an attempt to alleviate these concerns and defend John, Morag doesn’t believe his word will count for much with his recent redundancy from the hospital. “Morag isn’t confident about the case” Shane continued “They still have a lot of work to do“.
When John takes to the stand himself, it’s just as Morag predicted, with the prosecutor interrogating John with some difficult questions. John is thrown off balance, and the questions become more and more probing as John becomes increasingly agitated—until eventually he loses his composure and shouts out that he’s not a bad man.
But John’s outburst doesn’t help matters when it comes to the jury making a decision—has he sealed his own fate?
As a last resort, and much to John’s surprise, Morag calls Billie’s widow, VJ (Matt Little) to the stand. With VJ having forgiven John in emotional scenes a few weeks back, surely a positive character reference from him could pay off?
With VJ under an enormous amount of strain with a custody battle over baby Luc however, his standing up for John might not be a done deal….
“He comes to the court to back John” Shane explained. “But you don’t know whether he’s going to turn on him at the last minute“.
Could John be about to face prison?
For other storylines and a full rundown of what’s to come over in the next couple of weeks, as synopses become available, visit our Australian Spoilers page.
Visit Summer Bay!
If you’re in Sydney, why not take the time to visit the beautiful Palm Beach (Summer Bay) yourself – you may even be lucky enough to spot some filming and take some snaps with cast members!
The Official Home and Away Tour departs from central Sydney four days a week, and costs just $99 per person. For more information, and to book tickets directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.