Senior Constable Colby Thorne (2018-2021)
Date of Birth: 14th December 1991
Parents: Andrew & Michelle Thorne (both deceased)
Step Parent: Ross Nixon (deceased)
Sibling: Bella Nixon (half)
Marital Status: Chelsea Campbell (2018, divorced)
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.
Colby then received a phone call from Ross on Chelsea’s phone, revealing he had the three women hostage. Colby went to meet him with Dean where a gun-toting Ross tried to get him to choose between Chelsea and Bella. Colby refused and ended up charging at Ross; Bella nudged Ross as he fired and Willow was hit instead. Colby and Dean chased after Ross, leaving Chelsea and Bella to look after Willow, and commandeered a car when he shot out their tyres. As Dean wrestled Ross to the ground, Colby picked up Ross’ gun and, despite Dean trying to talk him down, killed him in cold blood after he tauntingly told him to think of Bella. Colby told Dean to call the police but Dean refused, convincing him to instead torch Ross’ car and bury his body in a shallow grave. Colby then told Chelsea and McCarthy that he’d lost Ross.
He was left uncomfortable receiving updates on the search for Ross, especially when Bella admitted she had known Ross was in town, which he elected to keep from McCarthy. Chelsea got suspicious and he admitted he killed Ross, although he concealed Dean’s involvement. Chelsea ended up moving out, finally concluding she couldn’t be his wife after what he’d done and moving to the city without him, with Colby deciding to stay in Summer Bay with Bella. They felt they needed to move somewhere else but Ben suggested converting a walled over storage space into a room for Bella. Dean told Colby that he wasn’t going to get back with Willow since he was an accessory to murder.
When Tori asked him to return Jasmine’s engagement ring to Robbo when they broke up, he instead gave it back to Jasmine and encouraged her to fight for Robbo, also making a point of continuing to wear his wedding ring. Willow told him she knew about Ross and he had an uncomfortable time being questioned by McCarthy after Ross’ burned out car was discovered. He was the only person Robbo would ring after he left town. Maggie and Simone called him into school after a get-to-know-you exercise had seen Bella admit she was worried Ross would come back and kill him. Bella ran away on finding out he’d read it and Colby admitted to Irene he wasn’t sure if he could handle her. He ignored suggestions Bella should see a counsellor and resigned from the police in order to look after her, furnishing her new room. He then found she had run away again and realised she had gone back to her old house. He followed her there and, when she refused to leave, insisted on staying with her. He realised she was worried he was giving up his life to look after her and convinced her to return home, whereupon she told him to go back to the police and find Ross. He arrived in time to halt a forensics examination of the car he requisitioned by claiming that Ross’ watch, which had been found in the boot, was Dean’s.
He learned that Dean had been nearly blowing their cover while sleepwalking, including telling Bella he knew where Ross was, as a result of taking homemade sleeping pills. He decided to take Dean to a motel room so he could go cold turkey. There, Dean ranted at him and asked if killing Ross was worth it. He had to call Jasmine for help when Dean collapsed and took him back to the Diner flat. He left a message for Chelsea, saying he understood her decision, and told Willow he was going to turn himself in. Despite her attempts to stall him, he confessed to Bella who was furious. He delayed going until the next morning and Bella convinced him to keep quiet and stay with her.
He was concerned that Willow seemed to have feelings for Dean again and more so that Bella didn’t really have any friends, so arranged for Raffy and Ryder to spend time with her. He went out clubbing with several of the other young adults, where he encouraged Willow to tell Dean how she felt about him and shared a drunken kiss with Jasmine. He was called to the school when Bella owned up to doing graffiti, then again advised Willow to pursue things with Dean, although this resulted in Willow making a fool of herself propositioning him. Colby had to tell Robbo about the kiss with Jasmine when he found out Ziggy had unknowingly photographed them, although Robbo wasn’t actually interested.
Despite encouraging the friendship, Colby dragged Bella back to school in her lunch break when she wanted to meet Raffy and Ryder. Bella was promptly suspended for setting off the fire alarm so Colby brought her into work with him, threatening to put her in a cell if she didn’t behave. Instead, she called Dean to come and get her and he warned Colby against using tough love on her. Colby helped Dean and Ziggy get a rally car together for a cross country charity trip and tried to deal with Bella’s unhappiness about the pair spending time together. He had to follow the group into the outback on learning Bella had stowed away in the car. Bella admitted she was worried Dean wouldn’t want to spend time with them but Colby encouraged Dean to pursue Ziggy. He checked himself and Bella into a motel for the night but Bella refused to go home with him and said she was going to the police station to tell them he was a murderer. He stopped her by threatening to drive off without her, then told her she couldn’t threaten him to get what she wanted. He ended up taking her to the end of rally party, where he saw Dean and Ziggy kissing.
He grounded Bella on her return but she ended up having a go at Dean and Ziggy at the surf club. When Colby tried to drag her away, she hit him with a pool ball. He accepted Irene’s offer for Bella to stay with her for a while, despite Bella being opposed to the idea. She came to him begging him to let her come back home but he sent her back to Irene. He was furious to hear about Bella breaking all Irene’s plates during a stand-off but things were mollified somewhat when Irene and Bella made cupcakes for him together. He invited Bella to move back in but she elected to stay with Irene.
He had an awkward first meeting with new Salt owner Mackenzie Booth when he gave her a ticket for parking in the emergency vehicle area near the surf club. Willow teased him about liking Mackenzie and Bella also felt he was interested in her but he insisted he wasn’t over Chelsea. With Irene going to London, Colby told Bella he was happy for her to move back in. He then learned Mackenzie was Dean’s half-sister. On learning Bella was doing well at school, he bought her a laptop in anticipation of her return but to his disappointment Bella decided she wouldn’t move back in. He had lunch with her and gave her the laptop anyway. He kissed Mackenzie but she refused to do anything while he was wearing a wedding ring.
After talking it over with Willow, Colby decided it was time to move on from Chelsea, throwing his wedding ring in the sea and arranging a date with Mackenzie. However, she was not convinced he was ready for a new relationship. Despite this, when Colby convinced her to open up Salt for a pre-wedding party for Robbo and Jasmine, she invited him back to her place. They spent the night together a second time after Robbo and Jasmine were taken into protective custody by the feds. He then had to investigate Ben for drug trafficking before Rick accused Mackenzie of theft, showing she had stolen $80,000 from his account. Colby managed to convince him to drop the charges and let Mackenzie repay the money. He investigated a coma patient dumped at hospital after an assault and identified him as Tommy O’Reilly after his car was found near the beach house. He was then caught in bed with Mackenzie by Dean, who refused to be caught in the middle, effectively ending their friendship. He was grabbed by Bella, who needed his help, and ended up breaking up with Mackenzie in an offhand way. Bella explained it was Irene who put Tommy in a coma after catching him trying to rape Bella. Colby took Irene’s confession, then searched Tommy’s house and found photos of Bella and other girls on his computer, charging him with attempted rape and child pornography.
He took Irene’s statement when she reported the fact that she had been abused by her late uncle as a child. He had been hosting the in protection Robbo and Jasmine at his flat but wanted Bella to move back in so asked them to find somewhere else, then spent the day with Bella to ask her. She ultimately did move in but struggled to leave the flat so he helped convince her to go to Irene’s support group. Willow tried to get him to admit he was still interested in Mackenzie as he tried to avoid her in front of Dean. He eventually cleared the air with Dean and reunited with Mackenzie. He took Bella for dinner at Salt but she left when he spent all his time chatting to Mackenzie. Next morning, he found her in Ryder’s room getting dressed and accused him of taking advantage of her, but learned she had got drunk after Irene asked her to testify in her defence and told Irene she couldn’t handle it. Ironically, he had to go to Ryder for help in trying to get Bella back to school and advised Bella to confide in him. He again tried to stop Bella testifying but a chat with Mackenzie saw her resolved to go through with it. Colby accompanied her to court but, when he saw her distressed on the stand, he shut her testimony down and tried to attack Tommy, being thrown out. Although his attempt to pull Bella out frustrated her, he managed to keep his cool and support her the next day.
Colby was called out to a shooting which turned out to be Robbo’s colleague Scott Larkin; Jasmine had been kidnapped and Colby found himself working with Robbo to look for her. He also found himself in the position of arresting Teresa Masterson after she murdered Tommy and, when Bella pointed out he had done the same thing with Ross, struggled to convince her it had been the wrong thing to do. He took charge when Robbo barricaded himself in a hospital room with Lenny Gordon, one of the thugs who had kidnapped Jasmine, and managed to convince Lenny to let them know where she was. After handcuffing Robbo overnight to stop him going in on his own, Colby joined him in raiding a power plant and rescuing Jasmine, although they failed to apprehend the kidnappers. He then realised Robbo had gone missing. After arranging for Jasmine to stay at the safe house, he was given three days off and decided to spend them with Mackenzie. However, he then found Robbo in the flat and tried to keep him there and get answers only for Robbo to hit him. Shocked at the constant danger he seemed to be in, Mackenzie broke up with him. He proceeded to get drunk and return home incapable. After a disastrous attempt at helping Dean with a surf lesson, he went to Salt to chat to Mackenzie and things began to soften between them until Bella arrived and was furious at the idea of them reconciling. When the depth of her mistrust of “outsiders” became clear, Colby decided he needed to focus on her. However, he only saw it as a pause and arranged to meet Mackenzie in secret, telling her he wanted to get back together. Bella confronted him about it but he refused to stop seeing Mackenzie.
He made plans to spend time with Mackenzie while Bella was on a school trip but Bella felt ill. Although suspicious, Colby gave her the benefit of the doubt but Mackenzie outright accused her of faking. However, Bella then collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where it turned out she had tetanus as a result of never being immunised. Colby had a tense wait to find out she’d be all right and made no objection when Bella ordered Mackenzie out. He continued to prioritise her, cancelling plans with Mackenzie to spend time with her at Irene’s when she had to stay there during her recovery (since Robbo’s baby daughter Grace was staying with him at the flat). When he did try and spend time with Mackenzie, she pointed out he only did so when Bella didn’t need him and refused to accept it. Realising how dependent Bella was on him, he realised it wasn’t fair on Mackenzie and agreed they should end things. However, they ended up arguing during drinks to celebrate Willow getting a promotion. Afterwards, he saw Willow kissing Alex but quickly accepted them as a couple.
Dean told him that Mackenzie wanted him to stay away from Salt and he stayed with Bella when she said she felt ill. He felt she wasn’t up to the intensive study programme Maggie had suggested to get her into Year 12 and began looking into having her home schooled. He filed a missing person’s report on Leah. He was called to Salt when Dean caused a disturbance and ended up having to arrest him. He tried to talk to him about his break-up with Ziggy but Dean stayed silent so Colby released him. He wanted to discuss it with Mackenzie but Bella said she was ill again. Mackenzie tried to convince him she was faking but Colby didn’t believe her. He was then asked to investigate reports that Jade Lennox had been stealing from Salt, only for Jade to claim Ryder was the thief and had also uploaded a sex video of her without consent. Colby found evidence to back up her story on Ryder’s phone, although Ryder insisted she had been the one who used it. Colby had no choice but to charge him and advise Mackenzie against sacking Jade. He then overheard Bella telling Mackenzie she was going to get rid of her and realised Mackenzie had been right about her faking being ill. Despite this, Willow told him Mackenzie had taken Bella to hospital and Mackenzie called him to reveal a group of gunmen had taken the emergency department hostage. Colby joined the police in going to the scene and briefly spoke to Jasmine on the phone but the gunmen refused further communication. Colby caught Dean sneaking into the hospital but agreed to join him. They managed to climb down a lift shaft and speak with Alex, who told them Mason was dead and Jasmine’s bodyguard Jay Myers was working with the hostage takers. Colby decided to call McCarthy and soon after joined armed police in taking the hostage takers into custody.
He learned that Bella had been in hospital because she had taken an overdose in order to convince people she was ill. He also visited Robbo when he was brought in at the same time after an apparent car accident. Robbo told him that Scott, who had been driving and had died at the scene, had been blackmailed into helping the ouroboros gang, asking him to tell the police but not Jasmine. Colby was present when Robbo died and had to break the news to Jasmine and to Robbo’s parents. He accompanied Jasmine to the funeral and delivered the eulogy, but afterwards she started asking difficult questions about Scott. He delayed talking to her while collecting Bella from hospital but eventually told her the truth. Jasmine decided to move out and Colby tried to convince Bella to see a counsellor. Ryder and Nikau Parata provided him with Jade’s phone, showing she had videoed and blackmailed several men, and Colby had the charges against Ryder dropped, also praising Nikau to his mother Gemma.
Although Bella’s counsellor, Patricia, told him she wasn’t engaging, Colby kept on booking sessions. He was informed by Roo and Maggie that someone had reactivated Leah’s blog and was posting anti-feminist messages, advising Justin not to post anything that would scare them off. He helped get rid of Mackenzie’s volatile ex Jason, in the process learning she’d joined a dating app. Dean asked if he could have his spare room and Colby agreed. When he learned Missing Persons had abandoned their search for Leah, convinced she had left voluntarily, Colby allowed Justin to look at the file and get details of a suspect, Douglas Maynard. After Justin had rescued Leah, Colby took a group of officers to arrest Douglas but was stabbed in the leg in the process, having to be treated for compartment syndrome. He was initially furious when he learned Bella was going to drop out of school and go to TAFE but was eventually convinced to agree on condition Bella continued to attend counselling.
He was pleased that Mackenzie had been spending time with him in hospital and also fine with Bella spending time with Nikau. However, he was furious to find Bella had gone back on her word and not attended counselling. Although Bella’s main fear was that she would let slip what had happened to Ross, Colby said he was done with her. He then received his divorce papers through the post and hid them from Mackenzie, although he quickly signed them. He believed he and Mackenzie were getting back together but she turned him down. He was then frustrated to find out she was dating Ari Parata, who had a criminal record, and exchanged sharp words with them in Salt.
He received another shock when he found Bella had self-harmed after panicking about sleeping with Nikau. Although he accepted Nikau wasn’t at fault, he sent him away from the hospital and had to break the news to Bella that she was being admitted for full-time psychiatric care. He took her to an equine therapy centre and saw her start to make progress looking after the horses but was concerned about leaving her there, especially since there would be no contact during her stay, needing Willow to stop him going back for Bella when she was upset at their departure. He nearly went to the centre to get news but received a phone call from the centre head Steve. He got fed up of Dean and Ziggy’s mess at the flat and dumped all their things on the beach.
When his divorce certificate came through, he decided to throw a party. However, he proceeded to get drunk and kiss Jasmine, then bitterly complain about how Dean’s life was good and his wasn’t even though Dean was involved in Ross’ death as well. Dean dismissed him as a mess and said Mackenzie was better off without him but after a pep-talk from Willow, Colby began to pull himself together and make arrangements to go back to work for the first time since his injury. He cleared the air with Jasmine but also said he was no good for her and they should stay away from each other. Willow convinced him to talk to Jasmine but this just left Jasmine upset that the two of them had been talking about her. When his attempts to smooth things over resulted in Jasmine kicking Willow out, Colby went round to confront her and convinced her to accept she wasn’t coping and make up with Willow.
He was frustrated when Bella initially refused to see him when she returned from therapy but she quickly came home with him after they ran into each other. She gave him a letter she’d written while away in which she asked him to stop trying to run her life and just be a brother, which he agreed to. His first case back at work was investigating a robbery at the Diner. He attempted to take the fingerprints of everyone who had access to the till but Gemma Parata refused to give hers. He was unsure how to broach the subject of Bella’s birthday but eventually presented her with a cupcake, like the ones he had bought on his own while she was missing. He became convinced the Paratas were involved in the robbery after checking Ari and Tane’s history, and used Ari owning a hoodie similar to the one used by the robber as an excuse to arrange a search warrant. The search failed to turn up anything so he decided to arrange a line-up including the three Parata men. Mackenzie claimed Ari was with her at the time but Justin recalled he hadn’t joined Mackenzie at Salt until after the robbery and Colby returned Mackenzie’s statement unfiled.
When Tori’s car was stolen with Grace inside, Colby was again suspicious of the Paratas, even though Ari was him at the time. Grace was returned anonymously and Colby took Nikau and Tane in for questioning. However, Nikau refused to answer questions and Tane quickly brought things to a halt on establishing they were under no obligation to be questioned, fingerprinted or take part in the line-up. Colby dismissed Jasmine’s suggestion that Tori had been negligent. When Alf mentioned that the Paratas were going to New Zealand, he put a block on the three men’s passports, meaning Gemma had to travel alone.
He became involved in the feud between Tori and Jasmine when he had to ask Jasmine to take down some photos of Grace she had used to advertise the gym without permission. When he attempted to break up an argument between them, Jasmine scratched his face. He was unhappy to discover Bella and Nikau were seeing each other again. He was reunited with Amber Simmons, sister of Jai who had died in a car crash while helping Colby, who greeted him with a punch. He convinced her not to blame Dean and Willow for still being friends with him. With Jasmine having left town, Colby was contacted by Robbo’s parents who revealed she was with them. Colby went after her with Irene and managed to convince her to return home but made a misstep in arranging for Tori and Justin to ambush her on her return. He eventually managed to convince Jasmine to talk to Tori. He was unhappy to find Nikau in the flat but reluctantly accepted he and Bella were together. He had realised by now that Nikau was behind the car theft, even if he couldn’t prove it, and warned him not to do anything like that again.
He built bridges with Amber by inviting her to Ziggy’s divorce party, only for it to be interrupted when Sergeant Cooper summoned him and Bella to the station and revealed Ross’ body had been found. Colby insisted to his friends that they had to stay and face it. His attempts to downplay the matter faltered when Detective Angelo Rosetta arrived to lead the case. Colby initially kept his cool in interrogation but lost his temper when Angelo brought up his childhood and referred to Ross as the victim. He tried to drill Bella on what to say, insisting she had to stay unemotional, but she ended up running off with Nikau. Colby reluctantly worked with the Paratas, uncovering the fact they had gone to Mount Currawong, and agreed to stall Angelo while Dean, Ari and Tane went after them. He was furious when he found Dean still in town, with Mackenzie having gone with the Paratas. However, he was understanding when he discovered Dean had just found out he had a son with Amber.
When Angelo learned Colby was a River Boy, he shut him out of the investigation, so Colby instead befriended Angelo’s wife Taylor as a source of information. Bella returned just as Angelo was about to issue a warrant for her arrest although Colby wasn’t allowed to accompany her in the interview room. On learning Taylor was a massage therapist, he arranged for her to advertise her services at the gym. Taylor thanked him by visiting him in the flat for a massage where they kissed but were interrrupted by Bella. Taylor had mentioned Angelo doing a forensic check on the car Colby and Dean had used to move the body and Colby impersonated Angelo to get the results: Nothing had been found but his friends were concerned at the lengths he was going to to stay on top of things. When Bella was questioned again, Colby arranged a liaison with Taylor in a motel room, lying to his friends about their involvement. When he found out Dean had told Ziggy the truth, he punched him in anger. He intimidated Ziggy after seeing her talking to Angelo, telling her Dean would go down with him. When Bella sent him a photo of him kissing Taylor that she’d taken, he snatched her camera from her and deleted it, insisting he’d done everything for her and she should support him.
He was dismissive of the fact he was Angelo’s prime suspect, since Angelo had no evidence. Willow encouraged him to look into Angelo’s history and he learned Angelo’s career had been damaged when a conviction was overturned in a murder he’d investigated. After getting more information from Taylor, he reported Angelo for harassment, meaning he wouldn’t be able to take action against them without permission from his superiors. When Bella tried to get Taylor to break up with him, Colby told her to stay out of it and carried on seeing Taylor. He also reassured her when Angelo told her he was sure Colby had killed Ross. He accepted Bella’s assertion that the affair couldn’t end well and broke up with Taylor. However, he later kissed her after she told him Angelo said he had a witness. He had an uncomfortable encounter with Francesca, Jai and Amber’s mother, and agreed to lift the ban on Nikau’s passport. With help from Willow, he tracked Dean down when he disappeared with his son Jai and helped convinced him to return the boy to Amber, although it left them at odds again. He dismissed it when Bella revealed Angelo knew about him and Taylor, but got Taylor to slip him the key to Angelo’s desk drawer. He was caught by Angelo who presented him with evidence of the affair but Colby pointed out Angelo had no evidence to link him to murder. Taylor also confronted him and Colby realised the necklace Angelo had given her contained a bug, which he threw away without a word.
He learned Bella was moving to New Zealand with Nikau via an invite to her farewell and threatened to stop Nikau leaving the country again: Nikau hit back by revealing he knew Colby killed Ross. Colby answered a 000 call to the Parata house and found Ari, Nikau and Tane brawling with some thugs, arresting them all, but was unable to disprove their claim it had been an argument over a woman. He was then arrested in the Diner by Angelo for Ross’ murder. He refused to speak during interrogation and was taken to the cells. Released on bail thanks to Jasmine’s assistance, he determined to find out who Angelo’s mysterious witness was and accused Ziggy, with Dean having to step in. When the witness list arrived with the name redacted, Colby accepted his last chance had gone and chose to spend his last day with Bella, Dean and Willow. At the trial, the witness turned out to be Willow, who said Colby had told her he killed Ross after dropping Dean off and provided a recording of him admitting to the murder. Colby insisted on taking the stand where he confirmed Willow’s story and changed his plea to guilty. He was sent to jail for 25 years, with a non-parole period of 20.
His first visitor was Taylor who revealed she was back on speaking terms with Angelo; Colby encouraged her to do whatever would make her happy. Taylor was quickly followed by Bella, who admitted Dean had disappeared, Nikau was away and she was on her own in Summer Bay. Colby left Dean an angry phone message. He was confronted by a group of other inmates who knew he was a police officer and ended up being rushed to hospital badly beaten. While there, he was visited by Bella and Dean. The latter admitted he couldn’t face visiting Colby in prison and said goodbye, advising him to do whatever it took to survive in there. After leaving a note for Bella with a guard telling her not to visit him again, Colby ended up in a fight with Joe, the ringleader in the attack on him, and stabbed him, ending up on a second murder charge.