Justin Morgan (2016-present)
Birth Name: Jack Lee
Date of Birth: 10th June 1984
Occupation: Mechanic; Bait Shop Manager; Garage Co-Owner
Justin had a less than promising arrival in Summer Bay when he squared up to Ash, who had driven himself, Brody and Mason off the road as they were arriving in town. He ran into Ash again shortly after but the situation was defused by their sister Tori, who had been in town some weeks already. Justin abandoned his attempt to get a job at the garage when he learned Ash owned it, and briefly attempted to chat up Phoebe when he ran into her. When they met up at Angelo’s that evening, they shared a drink and then spent the night together. The next morning, they awkwardly agreed to forget about it and Justin told Brody there was no point getting involved when they’d move on sooner or later.
Tori arranged for him to accompany Alf on a shakedown cruise of the Blaxland as a mechanic and after a shaky start they got on. However, the boat broke down and Justin had trouble fixing it, after which Alf suffered a heart attack and Justin had to swim to shore to get help. He was hailed as a hero, with Phoebe giving him free food and beer. He found out that Mason’s girlfriend Lara Adams had tracked them down and pretended to be okay with him continuing to see her, then warned Lara off. When Mason found out, they got into a fight at Angelo’s which Brody broke up. Justin kept quiet about the reason but told Mason to finish with Lara.
He visited Alf, which resulted in Roo hiring him to look after the bait shop while Alf recovered. He warned Tori against getting too close to Nate but she was upset at not being able to have friends and Brody also broke the family’s rules by buying Angelo’s. Justin was let go from the bait shop when Alf insisted it stayed close until he was better. Phoebe offered to help him get a job at the garage but when he stopped by he saw Andy arranging car ringing with Simmo and told Ash he wasn’t going to work anywhere dodgy. He was furious when he learned Mason had told Lara they were in witness protection, their parents having been murdered by a drug syndicate that their father had handled the accounts for, and felt they had to leave town, but when Tori checked with their handler, Decker, they were told to stay put. He was reinstated at the bait shop when Alf had a change of heart.
He warned Tori to keep her distance from Nate and ended up helping her fight off Spike Lowe when he attacked her in their home, wanting a book that neither of them knew about. As the family were moved to a temporary safehouse, he and Tori pondered if their father had kept records of the syndicate. When they were taken prisoner by Spike’s employer Blaine Varden, he revealed that Justin had found out what their father was doing and their mother had actually been killed when she threw herself in front of Justin, the intended target. Blaine was soon arrested but Justin had to confess to Tori that he had been trying to get their father to give the work up, resulting in her throwing him out of the house. He ended up staying with Phoebe while Tori and Brody refused to speak to him, then found Alf didn’t need him at the bait shop anymore.
Ash and Matt approached him and asked him to pretend to invest the money from Andy’s car rebirthing in the garage. Justin agreed when he learned that Phoebe was the garage’s licensee and it going bust would affect her credit rating, on condition that he take over Andy’s share of the business. However, this put him even further at odds with Tori and Brody when he was forced to pretend he’d had the money stashed away all along. Things didn’t improve much when he admitted some of the truth to Tori. He tried to earn his keep by doing odd jobs around the house and fixing Phoebe’s car. Phoebe asked him to move out but instead they slept together. They were then confronted by Spike who wanted the book to impress the syndicate. Justin told Phoebe what was going on and convinced her to help him find the book, which might get the syndicate to leave them alone.
They found a clue leading to a storage area and managed to get past an officious clerk to get the book. Justin arranged to meet Spike to hand it over and turned Tori away when she tried to invite him on a plane trip for her birthday. He made the rendezvous with Spike only for Decker and his men to swoop in and grab Spike and the book. A comment from Spike led Justin to realise his family were in danger but Tori and Brody ignored his calls and he failed to stop the plane taking off. He also failed to get a coherent message from those onboard when the plane crashed so alerted the authorities and set out to search with Ash which resulted in them spending a night in the bush. Although Mason and most of the others were found not long after, Tori and Brody were among those still missing so Justin headed out on his own to look for them. He first found Tori, Nate and Duncan, then they all found Brody had fallen off a cliff and got him to hospital.
Angry that Decker had used him as bait and ignored Spike’s warnings about the plane, Justin told him they wanted nothing more to do with him and brushed aside Phoebe’s attempts to convince him otherwise, moving back in with his family. However, he later told Tori he thought they should relax their rules about not having relationships, since their lives were unlikely to change. Decker had him arrested since it was the only way he’d talk to him, saying the syndicate had an informer in the police. He tried to give Justin an address to go to if anything happened to him but Justin refused to take it. When Brody remembered seeing Decker as a boy, long before he supposedly got in touch with the family, Justin tried to track him down. He found he had been run off the road so decided to check out the address, which Decker had left with Phoebe.
At the address, he found Decker’s nieces, Hope and Raffy Morrison, who had no idea why Decker would send him. Ash and Kat followed him there and together they stopped Spike’s men from grabbing Raffy, although Hope was taken. He took Raffy back to the Bay where he managed to rescue Hope and save Decker when Spike tried to kill him in hospital. He tried to smooth things over between Hope and Phoebe and was bemused when Hope kissed him. He turned down her attempt to seduce him but did offer her a job as a receptionist at the garage despite Phoebe’s misgivings. When he found out Phoebe had arranged a date with Damien Grogan, a customer at the garage, he managed to head him off and take his place. He then volunteered to tend Brody’s vegetable garden at the farmhouse in order to spend time with her before replacing the guitarist at Salt so they could sing a duet. He worked out Hope was behind a number of credit card frauds committed against garage customers.
With Decker still in a coma, Justin wanted to contact the Feds for help but Tori convinced him to hold off. Decker came round and confirmed Brody’s theory that he and Kate had had an affair; Justin was relieved she’d found some happiness. However, he refused to believe that Raffy was Kate’s daughter, not wanting their mother to have kept something that big from them. He was forced to accept the DNA results but felt they should tell Hope first. Hope asked to tell Raffy herself, then tried to do a runner with her before telling her not to trust the Morgans. With Raffy now hostile to them, Justin arranged for her to stay with Phoebe and convinced Brody and Mason to stay quiet until Hope, who had been injured during the escape attempt, got out of hospital. He informed Phoebe of the situation and they agreed to put their romance on hold. He gave Hope a job at Salt but then had to tell Raffy the truth when she found the DNA results. Afterwards, he went to his room to watch videos of a girl, Ava, and told Phoebe he’d left a life behind. When Hope was held on remand at the police station, Justin made a failed attempt to bully her into seeing Raffy. When she accidentally overdosed, he visited her in hospital before she played a last visit to Raffy at the farm. She asked Justin to look after her and Raffy moved back in with the Morgans.
Soon after, Tori learned her ex Riley Hawkins was going to the same conference as her so decided to attend under her birth name but Justin talked her out of it. He tried to help Raffy fit in after Hope was sentenced to eight months but she ran away. When he learned she was looking for Decker, he decided they couldn’t involve the police because of the informer so went to the city with Phoebe to search themselves. There, he confided in her about Ava, his daughter; he was only with her mother Nina briefly but was there when Ava was born and saw her as much as he could for the first two years of her life until he had to leave her behind when he went into witness protection. He and Phoebe then slept together but afterwards he was distant from her again and was quick to head back home when Raffy returned. He quickly realised she hadn’t seen Decker and, since they hadn’t kept a photo of their mother, printed one out from the article on their parents’ murder. However, this resulted in Raffy finding the article and the Morgans had to explain to her about the witness protection. Justin went to Phoebe for help when Raffy ran away again, then managed to convince Raffy she was part of the family, but walked away when Phoebe told him she loved him, which resulted in him being yelled at by both Phoebe and Kat in Salt. He pointed out to her that he’d lost everyone he loved and she accused him of being scared of his feelings.
He spoke to Phoebe about the possibility of getting together but she concluded neither of them was in the right head space. He received a visit from Decker, who told him he’d identified the mole and would need him to testify soon. However, he then found himself interrogated by Kat, who had realised his history was fabricated. When Decker was killed, Justin decided to confide in Kat, especially when Mason found a USB stick full of police files. Mistrustful of Ranae Turner, who had taken over the case, he and Kat found a photo on the stick saying she was Blaine’s girlfriend and decided to take it to the commissioner in person while the rest of the Morgans hid at the farm, but they found themselves being shot at by Ranae and had to flee without the stick. Justin went back for it but was captured by Ranae. However, he refused to be cowed with her or tell her anything and was rescued by Kat and the police. He and Kat headed to the city for the trial where he gave evidence that saw Ranae and her associates convicted. Although Ranae warned him he was a dead man as she was taken away, Justin went back to his family and told them it was over.
The family had a celebration but Justin avoided Phoebe at it. He went to the city to find Nina but she was angry with him for disappearing without explanation and told him that Ava had a new father now and didn’t need him. He was upset when he ran into Ava and she didn’t recognise him and went to Phoebe for comfort. He then had a news report brand him a drug dealer, resulting in Salt being vandalised. Nina came to visit him, having realised he was telling the truth about witness protection, but still wasn’t convinced Ava would be safe with him and felt it would be too disruptive. However, after a talking to from Tori, she agreed to give him a chance. When he found out Phoebe wasn’t doing any work at the Summer Grooves music festival, he stepped in to do her share of the set-up. He told her he loved her and promised to listen to her song, and also received a message from Nina saying he could meet Ava before the family went away to New Zealand. However, at the festival he had a call from Ranae revealing she was holding Tori prisoner. Warned not to call the police, he drove off without telling anyone. He sneaked into the warehouse where Tori was being held but was caught by Ranae’s thugs. However, when Ranae mentioned going after Brody and Mason once she’d finished with them, an angry Justin managed to overpower her henchmen, only to be stabbed by Ranae as he and Tori tried to flee.
He was taken to hospital by Tori where Nate stabilised him and, unconscious, was unaware that his life was saved by Tori’s ex Riley Hawkins or that Ranae had tried to kill him again with an insulin injection. When he woke up, he asked Brody to get Phoebe, who performed the song she had meant to sing for him at the festival. He told her he loved her and they kissed. On being discharged, he kept making requests of Phoebe and his family until Brody pointed out he was being pathetic and he agreed not to rely on them as much.
When he found out Riley was back in town, he warned him off and also warned Mason about getting too serious too quickly with Olivia. Brody told him Phoebe was waiting for him to call so he invited her over for a romantic meal only to collapse from an infection, needing to be taken back to hospital for treatment. Phoebe was worried when she found a jewellery box he’d left behind for her but he revealed it was simply a guitar-shaped necklace. He tried to support Ash after Billie’s death.
Having missed meeting Ava after being stabbed, Justin tried to contact Nina, without giving her the reason, but she told him to stop texting her. He considered getting legal advice but Kat advised him to back off for a while, only for him to learn Phoebe had sent a message to Nina. He saw a lawyer who told him he had no chance, then Nina sent him a message agreeing to meet. She told him how disappointed Ava had been and he finally told her about being stabbed. However, he couldn’t confirm Ava would be safe and accepted he had to let her go.
He wasn’t keen to learn Tori was back with Riley, especially when she considered moving to the city with him, and was happy to help her see him out of town when he tried to get Nate sacked. Phoebe told him she was being evicted and after considering getting a place together he invited her to move in with his family. Despite disapproving of Mason getting serious with Olivia, he encouraged him to date Lena Ascot. This ended in Mason confiscating some drugs Lena was dealing. Justin left Phoebe out of the family discussion on the issue but told her to still move in. They worked together to reunite Nate and Tori, after which he spontaneously proposed. After she responded by running off, he tracked her down and they attempted to put it behind them, but when she realised marriage was important to him, she accepted the proposal.
Mason warned him that Lena was working at Salt and he tried to take the pressure off Brody during a review. When Brody insulted the reviewer, Justin searched his things and found an empty drug sachet. He confronted Brody, who insisted it was a one-off and agreed to sack Lena, and also confided in Tori. He was worried Brody was still using when he was snappy with everyone. When Phoebe sang at their engagement party, her friend Donna Fields told Justin not to let her waste her talent. He gave Phoebe his blessing to go to LA with Donna but declined to go with her, since he needed to keep an eye on Brody who had got involved in a police chase with Raffy in the car to hide his drug taking.
On her return, Phoebe revealed she had been invited to go on tour for a year. She suggested he go with her but then he learned Brody was still on drugs. He cancelled Brody’s credit card and deleted Lena’s number from his phone. Phoebe asked him to go easy on Brody so he decided to go with her after all and gave her an engagement ring. Since the trip included a stopover in Mexico, he had to go for injections and ended up fainting and needing to have it done while he was unconscious. However, that night he was reunited with Ava, who had found a photo of them together and gone there on her own while Nina was at a conference, with Brian thinking she was at a sleepover. He contacted Nina, who agreed to Ava staying the night, and took her to the beach the next day.
However, when Brian turned up to collect her, he and Justin argued and Ava ran off and ended up being run over by Patrick Greenwood, who Justin had to be restrained from attacking. He recognised the bond between Brian and Ava and told Brian he’d go along with whatever decision he made. Brian accepted that keeping them apart wasn’t working and Justin visited Ava in hospital, giving her a balloon, a teddy and a phone number, but also had to tell her he and Phoebe were leaving. He was reluctant to have a farewell party but Tori and Raffy arranged for Ava and Brian to be there and he sang to her, after which she called him Dad for the first time. Phoebe realised he had to stay and she had to go; she offered to do long distance but he decided they needed to break up, knowing she would never come back, and said a farewell to her.
He then learned Brody was on ice and threw him out of the house, also removing him from Salt, but agreed to him staying at Scarlett Snow’s. With his family and even Ash disapproving of his hard stance, he lost it with Lena near the beach to the point that Kat and McCarthy had to step in. When Scarlett revealed Brody had run off after hallucinating Kate, he put her off side by blaming her but made peace after explaining about Brody’s accident after the plane crash. When he found out a returned Brody was in the shower, he overreacted by breaking the door down, thinking he might have overdosed. He suggested Brody move back in but Brody said he needed to be away from the pressure. Mason however blamed Justin but their argument was brought to a halt when they realised they’d forgotten Raffy’s birthday and Justin led them in baking a rather inedible birthday cake and convincing her she should still celebrate.
He ended up being roped into fixing a boat for Scarlett and she went to him for help when she found out Brody was using again. He locked Brody in the bedroom when he became aggressive, spending the night at her house to keep an eye on things. However, when they went to get Tori, Brody broke out and robbed the place. Justin helped look for him without success and chatted with Tori about the effect witness protection had had on them. He ran himself into the ground searching for Brody and tried to pressure Lena for information, although in the end it was Raffy who got her to provide a possible address in Mangrove River. He and Mason found him there and brought him home. When he showed no remorse, Justin handed him over to the police. He then got him out on bail using Salt as surety on condition he moved back in with the family.
He convinced Brody to attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. When Ava came to stay with him, he worried about her being around Brody so decided they’d stay in a caravan while she was around. Brody was angry when he found out. Meanwhile, Mason teasingly referring to Scarlett as his girlfriend left him feeling obliged to tell her he wasn’t interested, which only served to annoy her. He had a run-in with Ben Astoni while surfing, resulting in Ben thinking he’d stolen his car, which he and Ash were fixing, when he saw him taking it for a test drive. They became friends despite Justin managing to damage the car further by leaving the handbrake off. He searched for Brody when he missed his check-in and found out his hallucinations had returned.
He managed to fix Scarlett’s engine but knocked her phone into the water in the process. He got it going again and saw it contained pictures of Scarlett with a boy, prompting him to accuse her of abandoning her child and her to slap him. He also deduced that Tori had a crush on Ash. Alf told him not to judge Scarlett and he talked her out of leaving town. When he learned that Scarlett’s husband Caleb had hired a PI to track her down and the PI in question, Anderson, tried to take her home by force, Justin helped Scarlett flee town. He told her to dump her phone, use her credit card to buy a plane ticket to Bali and then return to town. She confided in him that the photo was of her son Max who had died a year earlier.
He learned Brody’s dealer William Zannis had resurfaced and was forced to tell Ben about Brody’s history. When Scarlett returned on the anniversary of Max’s death, Justin offered to spend time with her and then found her writing herself off in Salt. He took her back to his place and had to track her down the next day to explain she had merely passed out on his bed. He and Alf took her out to a fishing spot but their boat failed to start and they had to spend the night at the cove. They then had an encounter with Robbo, a man living rough who attacked Alf, but managed to make it back to town after Justin fixed the boat.
When Brody had a drug relapse that resulted in Mason ending up in hospital, Justin helped convince him to sell Salt to pay for rehab but pulled away from Scarlett when she tried to kiss him and told her he wasn’t over Phoebe. He also found out Brody had witnessed their parents’ murders as well. On learning there had been a shooting at one of Phoebe’s concerts, he contacted her to see if she was all right and learned she had a new boyfriend. He got drunk with Scarlett and suggested they go back to her van but the hook-up came to an abrupt halt when he called her Phoebe and then passed out. He struggled to remember what had happened the next day and eventually they decided just to be friends.
After another unsuccessful attempt at flirting with Scarlett, Justin ended up spending the night with Felicity Cox, the new owner of Salt. When Scarlett found out, he told her he wasn’t ready for anything serious. He tried to play peacemaker between Brody and Mason, telling the latter what Brody had seen and was annoyed when John, Marilyn and Roo began discussing moving Raffy up a year without consulting the family, enlisting Scarlett’s help to find her when she ran away. He nearly came to blows with Ben while defending Brody. He suggested to Scarlett that he didn’t want to miss their chance and she agreed to a date with him. He organised a picnic on the beach after Scarlett seemed less than keen on his idea of a pub lunch but when he went swimming afterwards he hit his head. Scarlett pulled him out and resuscitated him, insisting he go to hospital. She explained she failed to take Max to hospital after he fell out of a tree and he died of an undiagnosed head injury. The experience led her to back off from seeing Justin.
With Brody and Mason at each other’s throats on Mason’s discharge, Justin took his siblings to see their parents’ secret grave for the first time, telling them they’d lost enough already. He then found out that Brody and Ziggy were secretly seeing each other and had to deal with the fall-out of Ben finding out. When Brody was accused of stabbing Jay Turner, Justin distracted Jay while Scarlett broke into his house to get the evidence to clear Brody. He sabotaged Ash and Tori’s dates with other people in an attempt to get them together. He helped Mason get Beth to hospital after she collapsed and accompanied Brody to court where he was given a suspended sentence. He then witnessed the return of Scarlett’s husband Caleb. She assured Justin it was him she wanted to be with but he instead decided to give her space.
When Raffy got into trouble breaking a window at school and admitted she was lonely, Justin decided it was time for her to move back home. He performed a musical number at the fundraising sausage sizzle and accepted an offer to join Kat, Robbo and Scarlett in a holiday at a cabin. He and Scarlett became close during the trip although he volunteered to spend the night in a hammock outside the two bedroom cabin. Then Robbo discovered Dennis Novak had planted a bomb outside and it went off while Justin was trying to warn Scarlett. He looked after her until she was taken to hospital but had the staff call Caleb and had to witness him and Scarlett becoming closer again. He was concerned when Mason started seeing Beth’s ghost but Brody and Raffy both felt he should let it go if Mason was comforted. He avoided Scarlett when she got out of hospital, not wanting to get in the way of her marriage. Scarlett eventually chose to go back to Caleb and Justin said goodbye to her.
When Mason dropped out of college, Justin dragged him to the garage and told him to fix a busted exhaust. Instead Ziggy fixed it and Justin didn’t learn until after the customer, Judy Lawson, had taken it that they had found some money inside, which he handed over to the police. He helped talk Ash out of doing a runner with Luc when Mick applied for custody, then was attacked by Willow Harris, Judy’s granddaughter and the one who had hidden the money. She kept him tied up in the garage overnight until Ash and Ziggy arrived the next morning. However, he refused to report her and she promptly kidnapped Buddy to demand the money. Justin worked out her address from the photos she had sent and arrived to find the money’s owner, Boyd Easton, demanding it back. Justin told him the police had it and he’d call them if Boyd didn’t leave. Willow wasn’t entirely grateful but did return Buddy.
He was annoyed to find Tori planning to leave with Ash and Luc but ultimately wished her well, although they ended up cancelling the plan. He found Willow sleeping in her car to hide from Boyd, who expected her to repay the money she had lost, and took her for a meal. Boyd then turned up at his house, saying if he didn’t get the money back in 24 hours he’d come after them both. He suggested he do up Willow’s Triumph and they sell it but she refused and offered to do a job for Boyd instead. Justin offered her a place to stay for the night. Boyd came looking for him again when Willow failed to turn up for the job and he discovered she had been pulled up by the police for unpaid fines. He hid in a car boot with her when Boyd turned up at the garage and they ended up having to spend the night in there. He called the police about the vandalism Boyd and his men had done but didn’t say anything that would implicate Willow. Willow told him her father had Alzheimer’s and they used to go on trips together in the Triumph but gave it to him to pay for the damage.
Brody dropped hints to him about taking on Ziggy as an apprentice, which he eventually picked up on, but he sent Jarrod McGregor away when he brought his bike to the garage to spend time with Ziggy. Raffy announced that she had found a body and Justin and Mason promised to check it out to prove she was wrong, only to find the dead Dennis Novak. He saw Willow’s father Russell brought into hospital after being pushed down some stairs by Boyd so confronted Boyd and his friends and goaded him into confessing and beating him up. He played a recording to the police and convinced Willow to report him, resulting in Boyd being arrested. He then agreed to go guarantor on a caravan so she could move to Summer Bay.
He helped out when Mason and Willow both had a trial at the gym, then slept with Willow in her caravan only for her to immediately boot him out. He wasn’t entirely comfortable with her idea of a casual relationship so she told him she’d try things his way. However, their attempt to spend time together was derailed by Tori’s relationship difficulties and by loaning Brody the money to buy back Salt. He caught a customer at the gym, Mark, sleazing onto Willow and punched him, only for Willow to reveal she had been paid by his wife to prove he was a cheat. He tried to helped Brody strike a deal with Felicity to buy back Salt but his attempts at flirting with her just saw the price pushed up and instead Willow had to step in and strike a deal. He was ready to track down Robbo when he kidnapped Tori only to find she had already been released. Tori admitted she knew where Robbo was but refused to let him say anything. He chided her when she gave Kat the address, resulting in her being in a car accident while helping him escape, and was at the hospital when they learned of Kat’s death, spreading the word around town afterwards.
He helped Ash look for Robbo, managing to get the address of the cabin Robbo and Kat had been heading for from Tori’s bag. However, when he and Ash went to the cabin, Ash and Robbo ended up in a scuffle and Ash knocked Justin out when he tried to stop him going after Robbo, who escaped anyway. Raffy tried to get Justin to make up with Willow but he walked away when he saw her taking money from Mark’s wife Odette. However, they reconciled after admitting they cared for each other.
When he found out Tori was hiding Robbo, he accepted Ash would kill him if he knew where he was and asked Willow to help make him disappear. In the process, he learned that Dean Thompson, who was helping Ash look for Robbo, was her ex-boyfriend. He stole an abandoned car and had Willow fit it with false plates, intending Robbo should leave town in it, but instead Robbo ended up in a catatonic state after finding a photo of himself and a family inside. With Ash on his way, Justin drove off in the car to lure him away but ended up driving into a gasworks and causing an explosion. He was taken to hospital and played dumb when both Colby and Ash tried to question him about Robbo. After Robbo was arrested, Justin had a hard time convincing Ash he was on his side. With Tori having gone away, he also had to face Brody and Mason’s fury about Robbo being hidden in the house without their knowledge.
He was unimpressed when he and Willow returned to her caravan to find Dean waiting in bed for her. After finishing restoring the Triumph, he returned it to her without consulting Ash. He sacked Dean, who had been hired by Ash, on finding him asleep at work, then accused Dean of stealing the Triumph when it went missing. It turned out that Dean had been doing work for Ash, who had reinstated him, at the time and Russell had driven the car away in his confusion. He was frustrated that Tori continued to be involved with Robbo but made up with Willow, only to be surprised by Ava turning up with Nina, who explained she needed him to look after Ava for a month while she and Brian were away. He, Alf and John tried to bring Ash out of himself by bringing him beers at work. Immediately after, he found Ash trapped under a car and worked with Tori to free him safely.
He let Willow look after Ava but was furious when he came home to find Ava making herself a snack with sharp knives unsupervised, ordering Willow out. However, Ava, Brody and Raffy all felt he had overreacted and he made up with Willow, who explained she had been self-sufficient at Ava’s age. When Dean caught him talking to Kurt Adams, Robbo’s lawyer, he made an implied threat against Ava. Justin had agreed to be a character reference for Robbo but on the day of the trial he found Ava missing. He initially blamed Dean, forcing Colby to step in, until Dean offered to help search. When Mason informed him they’d received a ransom note for $35,000, Justin decided to keep the police out of it and pay the money. He met the kidnapper, Hazel, and tried to bluff her, but while she let him video call Ava, she refused to take him to her without the money and drove off when she saw Colby and Murray, who had been alerted by Raffy, hiding nearby. Justin was furious with both Raffy and Colby, but Willow realised Hazel was Boyd’s mother and it was discovered he had just been released on parole. He was initially willing to let Willow take the money to Boyd until Dean convinced him Willow was in danger, at which point he called Colby. He waited with the police during the handover and was reunited with Ava afterwards.
Willow eventually convinced him to let Ava out of his sight but when Nina turned up, she immediately decided to take Ava home with her for good. Justin tried to talk her round but she left after finding out Hazel, who was still at large despite Boyd being killed in a showdown with the police, was after Willow, at which point Willow broke up with him. He received a further blow when Raffy chose to live with John and Marilyn permanently but when he rang Nina she agreed to him visiting Ava in the city. He remained distracted on his return however and, despite agreeing to do a quick service for Ebony Harding, spent the afternoon at Salt trying to talk Willow round instead of going back to work. This resulted in Ziggy letting Ebony take the car, only for her to apparently have an accident. The garage was closed down pending a health and safety inspection and Justin received short shrift when trying to get information from Colby. Given a list of modifications by Fair Trading, he was then sued by Ebony, who demanded $100,000 for medical expenses, damages and loss of earnings. He convinced her to accept $30,000 and a job at Salt.
He continued to pursue Willow, who responded by kissing Dean in front of him. When he found out they’d spent the night together, he told her she wasn’t good enough for him. He also fired Dean and, when he bragged about being with Willow, punched him. He decided to go and meet the Palmers’ new foster son, Ty Anderson, since he was living with Raffy, only to walk in on them kissing. He dragged Raffy home but eventually agreed to her carrying on living with the Palmers on condition she and Ty stayed platonic.
He was delighted to get an invite to Ava’s birthday party, only to find out Nina didn’t know about it and she was now refusing to let him visit. He also found out Willow had broken up with him because Nina had refused to let him see Ava otherwise and felt they should have tried to find another way. His first thought was to go to the city anyway but Ash and Tori convinced him to hire a lawyer, only for him to be told he wouldn’t get custody while Ava’s kidnapper was still at large. After trying to get answers from Colby, he learned Colby’s sister had gone missing years earlier and apologised, although Colby then agreed to help him despite being suspended. They went to a pub in Mangrove River where the Eastons often recruited help and got one of a gang she used, Roach, to give them the motel where Hazel was staying. However, another of the gang tipped her off and they arrived to find a taunting note, achieving nothing except getting a ticking off from McCarthy.
He willingly stepped aside to let Mason be best man at Brody’s wedding and had to talk Colby out of making an official complaint when he believed Willow and Dean were the ones who had reported him for his past with the River Boys. Ash told him he was leaving town and gave him control over the garage, after which Justin arranged farewell drinks for him. When Ty went missing, Justin was annoyed to learn he and Raffy had been seeing each other but put it aside to help look for him. He gave speech at Brody and Ziggy’s wedding reception.