Senior Constable Colby Thorne (2018-)
Parents: Andrew & Michelle Thorne (both deceased)
Step Parent: Ross Nixon
Sibling: Bella Nixon (half)
Marital Status: Chelsea Campbell (2018-present)
Occupation: Police officer
Colby made a grand entrance to Summer Bay by helping Mason on finding him in a two-on-one fight with River Boys Taz and Bluey, then announcing he was the new senior constable, sent as a replacement for the recently deceased Kat. He was soon involved with the search for Robbo, whose escape from custody had indirectly led to Kat’s death, hampered by the River Boys carrying out their own search efforts. When Ash reacted aggressively to Colby questioning him about a lead, Colby arrested him. Colby let Ash go with a talking to but it failed to have any effect on him, as he ended up initiating a high speed chase with Justin, thinking Robbo was in the car, and causing a gas explosion. He arrested Ash again but was suspicious of Justin. He also ran into Willow, an old friend who was less than happy to see him. He eventually arrested Robbo after breaking up a fight between him and Ash, but in the process was reunited with another old friend, Dean, one of the River Boys. He also received a complaint from Jasmine and Leah about Jasmine’s stalker David Cantrall and agreed to help out. He gave Jasmine advice on taking out an AVO and helped rescue Alf and Roo from a sink hole. He rescued Jasmine, Leah and Ryder from David, arresting him.
Colby considered leaving town and it was revealed he was once a River Boy when he was seen looking at his gang tattoos. He and Dean had been friends since they were young but Colby had let Dean be blamed for crashing a stolen car, with Dean being injured and another friend Jay killed in the crash; in fact, Colby had been driving. Roo asked him to help look into the supposed death of her mother Martha and Tori asked him to look into Robbo’s memories of his family’s murders. He found a record of the murder but no mention of a husband or father and showed Roo the evidence of Martha’s death, suggesting a letter from her was a hoax. When Robbo was released on bail, Colby reassured the townsfolk he was safe by renting the flat above the Diner and moving Robbo in with him. He had to investigate Dean as a suspect when Willow’s Triumph was stolen but managed to get him to give an alibi and learned Willow’s father Russell, who had dementia, had taken it by mistake.
He tried to clear the air with Dean by inviting him to hit him, only for Dean to collapse, with Willow and Colby helping the hospital staff work out he had drunk dodgy home brew. He also arranged a lawyer for Robbo, Kurt Adams, and explained to Dean that he had left him to chase after his stepfather Ross, who was taking his mother Michelle and half-sister Bella out of town. When Willow found out about Colby’s role in the accident, she told him if he didn’t confess she would go to the police herself so Colby got Dean to talk her round, since he was using his position with the police to search for Bella. He had a drink with Jasmine at Salt after which they kissed but he told her nothing could happen between them because of him meeting her through work.
He then had to investigate the disappearance of Justin’s daughter Ava and was questioned by locals about Robbo disappearing from his trial before sleeping with Jasmine. When Jasmine found his clippings about Bella, Colby initially threw her out but later confided in her about his search. On hearing Justin was meeting Ava’s kidnapper, Colby took Constable Murray to observe the meeting but only managed to scare her off, although it did result in her being identified as Hazel Easton, the mother of Boyd who Justin and Willow had sent to jail the previous year. He convinced Justin to trust him and had officers waiting when the ransom money was handed over. However, the incident ended with Boyd driving his car at Dean and Colby shooting him. When Boyd died, Colby was suspended pending an investigation but reinstated after Dean said Colby saved his life, with the pair beginning to repair their friendship.
He then met Ebony Harding when she tried to get him to help change a tyre and had to investigate Justin’s garage for negligence when she apparently had a crash right after a service. He lost his temper with Justin when he complained about the lack of progress in finding Hazel Easton, then agreed to a friends with benefits arrangement with Jasmine. He felt frustrated when Bella’s birthday came round and he had achieved nothing, ending up agreeing to a drink with Ebony and spending a lot of time with her at Salt. When he heard Jasmine trying to warn her off and claiming they were a couple, he ended their arrangement. Leah found out he had been a River Boy and confronted him about it but agreed to keep quiet. However, it was soon on the front page of the paper. Colby was left making awkward explanations to the locals and to Sergeant McCarthy, blaming Jasmine for talking about it in public while relying on Ebony for support. He was ordered to stay away from the River Boys but met Dean and Willow to explain only for photos of them together to be sent to his superiors. Robbo returned to town, having been revealed as a former police officer, and tried to give Colby advice but instead Colby followed Ebony’s advice and showed off his River Boy tattoos on the beach. He then got drunk with Dean and burned his police badge, being found by McCarthy who asked him to think about whether he wanted the job.
He agreed to help Justin find Hazel and printed off the police files without permission. He and Justin staked out a pub where the Eastons often recruited help and got one of their associates, Roach, to tell them Hazel was staying at a motel, but one of Roach’s gang warned Hazel and they arrived to find a taunting note and Hazel gone. McCarthy then told Colby he was fired from the police but had the right to appeal. Since someone had made a false report of him brawling with Dean, he asked Murray’s help to track down the phone that made the call and found Willow and Dean with it, although they insisted it had been planted. He was then surprised by the real culprit, Ebony, in reality Boyd’s sister, who injected him with a muscle relaxant that paralysed him before leaving him to slowly suffocate. He was found by Willow and Dean and rushed to hospital, where he suffered an allergic reaction to the relaxant. He eventually recovered and learned Robbo had been charged with murdering Hazel, but was unable to remember anything that could help him. He realised Bella might have the same allergy that he had and wanted to look into it; Mason and Jasmine failed to stop him discharging himself so Jasmine offered to look after him at home, which led them to acknowledge they just wanted to be friends. This also resulted in Robbo getting bail by coming to live with him again. He received a message from someone claiming to be Bella and arranged to meet her only for Robbo to find evidence that it was Ebony. He went anyway only to find himself locked in a room by her. She nearly started a fire outside the door but he was saved by Robbo and Ebony was arrested.
He discovered Dean was being blackmailed by loan shark Brett Dwyer into helping with a robbery at Salt so arranged for the police to catch the robbers in the act. This wasn’t a good time for his appeal tribunal but he defended his friendship with Dean while insisting it didn’t affect his status as a police officer and was reinstated. He quickly asked to be allowed to look into a break-in at the surf club in which Alf was injured and recognised Willow’s voice on the phone call sending an ambulance for him. He took her in for questioning but Dean interrupted to announce he had done the break-in after setting up a credit card skimmer in Salt and Willow had phoned the ambulance when he got home and told her about it. Colby removed himself from the case and Dean was charged. Colby consulted with Willow when Dean risked missing his bail check-in. He made a point of going to Ebony’s sentencing. He then had to deal with Willow confessing to being Dean’s accomplice.
He was thrown when a new police officer at the station turned out to be Chelsea Campbell, his ex-fiance who had broken up with him over having to keep his River Boy past secret. She felt they could give their relationship another go now the truth was out. Although Colby kissed her, he insisted things were over between them. When McCarthy learned of the relationship, he ordered them to work together, saying if they couldn’t one of them would have to leave. After working on a graffiti case together, Colby suggested they car pool to work. They ended up going to an old River Boy hideout that Dean had told Ryder about, after Ryder had gone there with Raffy and Coco and they had brought an escape tunnel down. Colby had a go at Dean for causing the police to visit the hideout, infuriating Chelsea over his priorities. They slept together but she accused him of giving out mixed messages while he accused her of wanting a fantasy version of him.
When he discovered Dean’s mother Karen had tried to run over John, he convinced Chelsea to delay logging the paperwork while he tried to get Karen to have a psych assessment. However, when he tried to get her to give a statement, her response was to make a pass at him. He booked her a psychiatric appointment and said he’d arrest her if she didn’t attend but she skipped town. When she turned up in hospital after accidentally gassing herself and Dean, Colby convinced Dean to get her scheduled rather than arresting her, but still had to forcibly take her into medical care when she tried to do a runner. He then told Chelsea about Dean taking the blame for the car theft leaving her furious at having to keep another of his secrets. He gave her her old engagement ring and told her to do what she wanted with it.
He accompanied Dean to clear Karen’s things out of their old house where they learned the identity of Dean’s father and vowed never to return to Mangrove River. On his return to Summer Bay, Chelsea got Colby to propose to her so she could accept. When he learned Justin wanted Willow to stay away from Dean, he made his disapproval clear. Chelsea admitted she not only hadn’t told her parents about the engagement, she hadn’t told them they were back together or that he was in Summer Bay. After she left a message for her father, Neil, a senior police officer, he turned up at the station and made his disapproval clear: He and Colby had got on previously but now he knew Colby’s River Boy past he wanted him to stay away from Chelsea, warning doing otherwise could hurt his career. He then told him he knew where Bella was and would tell him if he broke up with Chelsea. Colby refused, resolving to find Bella himself.
He and Chelsea began their own investigation but were short of new leads. Dean suggested hiring a private detective, Ray Holsten, and loaned Colby the money from a pay off he’d received from his father Rick. Colby learned that Dean was planning to visit Karen after Holsten found out Ross visited her a year after he disappeared, and insisted on going too. He was shocked when Karen revealed Ross had told her he’d killed Michelle but the visit led to Dean finding a dictaphone recording Michelle had left with Karen, in which Ross revealed he had killed Colby’s father Andrew, a police officer. Chelsea convinced Colby to take the information to the police.
However, Colby soon began to get frustrated at the lack of developments, even considering postponing the wedding. When Neil texted Chelsea with Ross’ address, Colby deleted the text and went there himself with Dean, worried the police would scare Ross off. Dean had to convince him to wait until Ross had gone before charging in, then Bella pulled a crossbow on him, having been told by Ross that he was going to hurt them. Colby tried to convince her to come away with them but Dean realised she was stalling until Ross returned, so Colby took her by force before admitting he had no idea what to do. He relied on Dean and Willow to help look after her at the old River Boy hideout and, after initially claiming to Chelsea that everything was under control, was forced to tell her the truth. Dean and Willow convinced him to play Bella the recording of Ross and he also showed her his file from looking for her, reconciling them. Chelsea told him she wouldn’t report him for kidnap but ended their engagement.
He took Bella away for a while but returned to find the police had found Michelle’s body and wanted to interview Bella. She lied for him, saying she’d contacted him after seeing one of his social media posts, but also realised Ross had killed Michelle after she told him of a plan to run away, prompting Colby to shut down the interview. Bella encouraged him to make things up with Chelsea but their first conversation merely resulted in her concluding they came from different worlds. With Chelsea returning to the city, Colby chased her down and convinced her to give him another go, with them deciding to go away with Bella for a bit to see if they worked as a family.
When they returned, they were making plans to move to the city together after the wedding. Maggie questioned them about Bella going back to school; Colby felt it could wait until they moved but Chelsea felt they should get her assessed straightaway, causing them to clash. Colby quickly accepted Chelsea was right but the argument scared Bella into running away. Colby tracked her down and convinced her that arguments weren’t that bad and to have the assessment. Maggie offered to sort out a bridging course to bring Bella’s knowledge level up to standard over the summer but things became confused when first Colby and Chelsea learned the wedding venue wasn’t available for two months so decided to delay the move until then and then Chelsea was accepted into a detective course so they decided to get married the next day and move in two weeks. Dean and Willow quickly arranged a wedding at an old River Boy party house and after the ceremony Colby revealed he had arranged a honeymoon with a limousine to take them there. While Chelsea was getting ready with Bella and Willow, Colby went for a last surf with Dean.