Leah Helena Adara Poulos/Patterson/Patterson-Baker (2000-present)
Date of Birth: 17th February 1979
Marital Status: Ted Simos (2000, engaged), Vinnie Patterson (2001-2002, deceased); Dan Baker (2005-2008, deceased); Elijah Johnson (2010, engaged); Zac MacGuire (2015-2017, divorced)
Children: VJ Patterson
Step Children: Ryan Baker (former stepson)
Occupation: Chef; Part Owner of Diner; Guidance Counsellor
Leah arrived in the bay, after doing a runner from her own wedding. It was one that her father had arranged for her, as part of their Greek tradition but she knew she wasn’t going to be happy and took the chance to leave while she could. She was lucky to find love in the bay, in the comical Vinnie Patterson.
Mr Poulos first and maybe right impression of Vinnie was that he’s a no-hoper and nearly revealed him being nought more than a greedy scumbag when offering him $50,000 to dump Leah for good. Mr Fisher’s evidence wasn’t favourable either thus Mr Poulos rejected his daughter as she refused to come with him. He told her that she was no longer a daughter of his.
Leah had a health scare in 2000 when she stepped on a needle on the beach and feel ill soon after, thought it wasn’t thought to have been for the needle.
It took a long time but Vinnie did finally propose to the young Greek lady. Their ‘big fat Greek wedding’ was of fairytale standard, but sadly it didn’t last long as Vinnie was sent off to prison for a crime his father had committed. This left her the job of bringing up their son VJ, on her own. Luckily her brother Alex helped out and the three of them have been coping.
Being a single working mum is surely hard enough, but Leah’s had it even tougher. When her son was just six months old he was diagnosed as deaf, and she was told that the only way he would be able to hear was for him to have a cochlear implant operation. Leah found the decision a very hard one to make, as she was unable to get in contact with Vinnie and his views. In the end she decided to go through with it, but became closer and closer to Jesse through the process.
Then Leah had to deal with the news that Vinnie died in prison on the day that he was due to come home. Throughout his sentence Leah was able to cope with the fact that he’d be home with her in less than a year, but now she no longer had that thread to hold onto. This has made her become much closer to Jesse, Vinnie’s old cellmate, though her brother Alex was worried that she may be taking things a little to fast.
It did not take long for Alex’s theories to come true as Leah and Jesse became an item, though they agreed to take things slowly. When Sally, unable to have children of her own was looking for a surrogate mother, Leah offered to help her and Flynn out. The surrogacy was successful and Leah became pregnant much to the delight of Sally and Flynn. The pregnancy was not an easy one though as all parties struggled with the awkwardness of the situation and Leah began to get closer to Flynn, eventually sharing a kiss with him. Though Sally and Flynn managed to get their marriage back on track, the liason spelled the end of Leah’s relationship with Jesse. Eventually Leah gave birth to a healthy baby girl and handed her over to Sally and Flynn. Initially Leah found it difficult not to bond with Baby Pippa and infuriated Sally by breast feeding her but Leah eventually came to terms with the fact that Pippa was Sally and Flynn’s child, not hers.
When Detective Peter Baker arrived in the Bay there was an instant connection between him and Leah as Leah was convinced she knew him from somewhere. After his initial lies about being at school with her were disproved Peter finally admitted that he had been involved in Vinnie’s trial and that was likely where she recognised him from. They continued to grow closer with Leah asking Peter to be her date to Pippa’s christening and him accepting. At the time Sarah Lewis was terrorising members of the bay and Peter was directly involved in the case. Sarah escaped from the psyciatric unit she was being held in and Peter decided that those involved were in danger. Overhearing him trying to organise a safe house Leah offered her place as Sarah did not know her. A relunctant but grateful Peter agreed. What followed was the seige in which Peter was knocked unconcious and in a state of semi-conciousness he whispered to Leah that Vinnie was still alive. With the seige reaching its tragic climax Peter remained in a coma for several weeks and Leah stayed at his side. When Peter’s brother Dan arrived in the bay Leah bonded with him as she searched for answers about Vinnie.
Dan asked Leah out but things didn’t initially go to plan. Firstly there was a mix up over the dress code with Leah dressed to kill and Dan in casuals but after a quick change of clothes he treated her to a picnic only for it to pour down. They continued the picnic in Leah’s front room and shared a kiss but a still fragile Leah decided she wanted to take things really slowly. Despite her initial hesitations things with Dan progressed well and they quickly became a couple. With Peter’s revelation that Vinnie was still alive but in witness protection, Leah was given the choice to go be with him or stay in the bay with Dan and she chose the latter. Vinnie made one final appearance dressed in a bear suit at VJ’s party in order to say goodbye.
Leah’s life was in danger after she collapsed on the roadside, suffering from appendicitus. After being found by Peter and rushed into hospital, Flynn performed surgery upon her. However, only days later she was rushed back into surgery and it was discovered that Flynn had accidentally left a swab inside her.
With Vinnie now in the past Dan proposed and Leah accepted. The arrival of his trouble making son Ryan caused problems for the pair but after the initial problems and tricks played by Ryan on Leah, the two came to accept each other. In the run up to the wedding though Dan’s ex wife Amanda arrived in the bay and showed exactly where Ryan got his trouble making streak from. Deliberately sabotaging the wedding whilst appearing to help, Amanda was thwarted when the bay residents banded together and Leah and Dan celebrated their perfect day.
Following the wedding, the couple decided to start trying for a baby, but after some time the couple had not conceived. After undergoing tests, it was revealed that her surgery (and subsequent infection) earlier in the year had caused Leah to become infertile. Desperate for a child with Dan, Leah began saving for IVF. Their relationship though was to suffer a major setback when a trip to the races reignited Dan’s old and well hidden gambling habit. Having spent the money for their IVF Dan borrowed money from everywhere and anywhere and managed to scrape together the cash for Leah to undergo the treatment. Dan’s creditors though became more dangerous and after threatening Ryan’s life Dudley, who Dan owed money too, took Leah hostage. Leah’s school friend Rachel Armstrong arrived and was also held hostage untuil they were rescued with the arrival of Dan’s brother Peter. The incident spelled the end of Dan and Leah’s relationship, despite the fact that she was pregnant with his child.
Growing closer to Peter, Leah shared a kiss with him and for a while was unsure of her feelings but when she fell off a cliff and wound up in hospital she realised it was Dan she loved. The pair were reunited but further heartache was in store when Leah collapsed and was rushed to hospital with pneumonia subsequently losing her baby. Dan and Leah pushed each other away rather than supporting each other and despite staying together the cracks were already beginning to show. Dan overheard Peter and Leah discussing their kiss and reacted furiously, refusing to speak to Leah and turning to alcohol he was briefly reunited with his ex Amanda. He quickly realised that Amanda was a mistake and when he told her so Amanda decided to take off with Ryan. With Leah unsure of whether to take him back Dan began to spiral further out of control. When he endangered the life of Leah’s son VJ, who drank alcohol after Dan fell asleep while minding him, a furious Leah wanted nothing more to do with him.
Devastated Dan continued to drink and after crashing his car he was left critically ill in hospital. Woth the forensic revelation that Dan had tried to take his own life, Leah fel incredibly guilty and when he came round and said it was an accident, she decided to stand by him. Dan though had suffered a severe head injury in the crash and underwent a personality disorder. Snapping at the drop of a hat, biting peoples heads off and kissing Sally, he eventually ran off only to collapse and hallucinate in the bush. Luckily he was found in time and made a full recovery with him and Leah reuniting.
After coming through their rocky patch Leah and Dan seemed stronger than ever and Leah supported Dan when he believed his brother Peter had died in the explosion at Jack and Martha’s wedding. The revelation that Peter had a son led to Drew Curtis coming to stay with them and Peter too when it was revealed that he was actually still alive and had been in witness protection. Through later 2006 and early 2007 Leah took a back seat with regards to storylines and her life revolved around her now happy relationship with Dan, their family and running her business The Diner.
Leah went to Greece to bail out her brother Alex who had been arrested for trafficking prescription drugs and he followed her back to the bay. At first she bought his lines about not having money but she quickly became suspicious of him and when VJ disappeared whilst in his care she was furious. VJ was found safe and well but with a stash of Alex’s drugs and Leah reacted furiously, throwing him out and telling him how ashamed she was.
When Drew’s mother Jazz Curtis arrived in town and moved herself in with them, Leah was distinctly put off and made her feelings clear to Jazz. After Jazz made a move on Dan, Leah threw her out. She was upset when Drew seemingly chose to live with Jazz over them.
After Sally turned down Brad’s proposal, the boys went out on a boat and were missing in a storm. Leah, worried sick about Dan was upset to realise that he had remembered their anniversary when she had forgotten. Luckily he was returned to her unharmed and Leah told him she loved him more than ever.
She supported Sally in the aftermath of her aborted wedding to Brad and missed Dan like crazy when he went away on a field trip. She attempted to surprise him by dressing up in a French maid’s outfit at the Diner but was horrified when he bought his pupils along with him.
Leah became suspicious when she found a number for a woman in Dan’s possessions. She phoned the number and it was answered by an American woman. Furious, she accused Dan of having an affair and he admitted that he had been offered the job of a lifetime in America. At first Leah had her doubts about leaving the bay but after a talk with Colleen, she decided her place was at Dan’s side and agreed to move. She and Dan spent a day at the beach with Ryan, VJ and Drew before Dan packed his bags and headed to America. Leah stayed behind to get things in order and organised to sell her share of The Diner to Roman. On one of her final shifts she took a phone call and collapsed sobbing on The Diner floor; Dan had died, abseiling in America.
Devastated, Leah refused to speak to anyone before eventually breaking down and screaming. After talking to Rachel and later Sally as they shared their guilt over Dan’s death she began to come to terms with things. The arrival of Jazz and Amanda provided some light relief in the run up to Dan’s memorial, at which Leah gave a touching speech. She was shocked when an American man turned up and told her that Dan had died saving his son and gave her £100,000 to set up a tribute to Dan. With Irene and Roman she bought the new Diner and set about creating a place for kids to hang out, something Dan had dreamed of.
Unfortunately, despite Leah’s best efforts, the Den struggled from the outset. The Den’s biggest challenge came when Gavin and the Coastal News threatened to cause trouble but Leah and Belle managed to get the better of him by gaining support from a city newspaper. However, it wasn’t long before Leah had to admit defeat and realise that the Den was not financially viable. She was devastated by this as she felt she had let Dan down. Irene and Roman tried their best to convince her this wasn’t the case and offered her a partnership in the new Diner which she happily accepted.
Throughout 2008 Leah struggled with her feelings for Miles. She could feel herself being drawn to him to tried to fight her attraction by keeping her distance and stopping VJ from seeing him. However, after a heart to heart they decided to be friends as Leah felt she wasn’t ready for a new relationship yet. Soon after Miles developed a friendship with Kirsty and Leah began to feel jealous. Rachel encouraged her to talk to Miles about her feelings but when she did they were interrupted by Kirsty. Leah then decided to leave things as they were and move on with her life. She later found out that Kirsty and Miles were in a relationship.
When Rachel was stressed before her wedding to Tony, Leah tried to ease her concerns. However, when Rachel disappeared on her wedding day, Leah began a frantic search. After looking at Rachel’s emails she was forced to tell Tony that she thought Rachel had run off with Hugh. After it was discovered that Rachel had been kidnapped by Aden, Leah was the first to greet her best friend. She felt guilty that she had doubted Rachel and tried to support her in aftermath as much as she could.
When Kirsty lost her job at the school, Leah helped her to get a job at The Sands. She also began to feel more comfortable with being friends with Miles and the two of them took advantage of two spare tickets for a ball at The Sands. They had a great time and realised how much they liked spending time together. However, when she found out Kirsty was working as an escort to pay for Kane’s appeal she felt very strongly about it and felt she had to stick up for Miles. Leah gave Kirsty a huge serve about hurting Miles but unfortunately this did not go down too well with Miles and they had a blazing row. Leah also fell out with Irene over the situation but were soon friends again after Colleen intervened.
When Miles and Kirsty got back together Leah admitted to Rachel that she was sick of being a horrible person and bitter about everything. She decided to explain why she reacted the way she did to Miles and Kirsty and they all agreed to be friends.
Towards to end of the year Leah had trouble with VJ rebelling. He and Leah began to clash over everything and he disappeared when Colleen was looking after him. Jai and Annie found his bike near the stormwater drain and began to search for him. Jai located him, much to Leah’s relief, but Annie and Charlie were left in danger as a result. Luckily everything turned out fine and Leah made VJ apologise for causing the whole thing. Later VJ admitted to Leah that he missed having a father figure in his life and Leah agreed that he could spend time with Miles.
At the end of year school formal, Leah was involved in doing the catering. However, when Kane’s car crashed into the hall, Leah life was left hanging in the balance but she managed to walk away unscathed. Leah was a victim of a scam when Bridget tried to get her hands on the money Leah was to receive from Dan. When Bridget failed her accomplice Brian kidnapped VJ and asked Leah for ransom money. A terrified Leah managed to get hold of the money and swore her friends and family to silence but a guilty Bridget called the police and Brian overheard the police report over the radio and panicked, driving away with VJ and leaving Leah distraught. The police managed to intercept Brian and rescue VJ.
Leah finally managed to use Dan’s money to set up a memorial for him at the school and her parents returned to town to support her during the anniversary of his death and plan a party for her 30th. Leah wanted a small get together but her mother had other ideas and weeks of wrangling ensued before her mother, father and brother Chris arrived in town. They had news for Leah though as after a lot of fighting, Helen and Theo announced that they were separating. Infuriated by them and after overhearing Freya say her party was boring, Leah got drunk, snapped at her mother, did some table dancing and was rescued by Roman when she fell off. She later kissed him and then vomited all over him.
The next day Leah didn’t remember anything and Roman failed to tell her. Instead she tried to broker peace between her parents but her mother insisted that it wouldn’t work and left town with Leah’s father announcing his intention to stay with her. After a few weeks of him driving her crazy he realised he needed to sort things out and left the bay, leaving Leah in peace. At a speed dating night Leah got a match with a guy named George but also spent an enjoyable time with Roman. He bought her cooking masterclasses for her birthday and was upset when she chose to take George. After VJ reacted badly to her dating George, she broke things off with him and Roman spent some time with him. Wanting to thank him for helping her, Leah invited him, Rachel and Tony to lunch but just before lunch she remembered kissing him at her party. She was embarrassed and admitted to Rachel that she liked him and even Tony noticed the chemistry between them. After lunch he asked if she was avoiding him and she told hims he remembered the kiss, Roman asked her if she’d like to try it again properly and they kissed once more.
After being outed frolicking at Martha’s farm, Roman told Nicole about him and Leah and she reacted well but VJ wasn’t so easy and was furious when he heard the news from an unsuspecting Nicole. As Leah and Roman argued about the situation with VJ, their car was hit by a rock thrown by Brendan and Roman was injured and left blind. In the aftermath he pushed Leah away, ending things with her.
Leah agreed to take Nicole in when Roman told her to leave the house but gave both Roman and Gardy a serve over the situation. She also turned up at Irene’s house with impeccable timing to inadvertedly prevent Belle confronting her about her drinking. She supported Rachel in hospital when she nearly went into premature labour and later offered her some reassurance when Rachel worried she would be left at home on her own after she gave birth. After Colleen theorised that Kirsty might be pregnant, Leah questioned her about it and Kirsty revealed she and Miles were trying…so Leah was more than a little curious to find contraceptive pills in her bag, even after Kirsty claimed they were old ones.
She found herself in the role of confidante when first Charlie told her about her relationship with Angelo and then Kirsty admitted to her that she wasn’t as keen on the idea of a baby as Miles was. She was also pleased to learn of Martha and Hugo’s relationship and went to the hospital with Rachel when she went into labour for real. She was the first person to meet the Walkers when they arrived in town and spoke with Jody about Sid’s frequent infidelity, leaving her with a low opinion of Sid, especially when he didn’t realise Indigo and Dexter were meant to be in school. Her attitude towards him softened slightly later and when Colleen began spreading gossip about him and Nicole, Leah defended him.
After visiting Roman in jail, Leah bought his share of the business so he could pay off his mortgage. She had to cope with Charlie and Ruby’s family dramas when first Ruby found out Charlie was her mother and then Ross decided to go into a home. She committed a major blunder when she gave Grant Charlie’s telephone number after he claimed to be an ex-colleague of hers. She found herself being charmed by Detective Robert Robertson, even though he was investigating her housemate Charlie and questioned her about Charlie’s whereabouts on the night Grant was killed. After commenting that she needed some excitement in her life, he invited her out on a date and gave her 24 hours to decide. At the end of the deadline, she told him she just wanted to go home and sleep and he told her he was impressed by her honesty. She later agreed to a dinner at an Italian restaurant but Robert had to pull out to deal with the case. She helped Rachel and Tony with Harry and, when Harry was hospitalised after Rachel fell asleep on him, correctly guessed that she was suffering from post-natal depression. She and Robert went on a picnic date to the beach where he managed to charm her further. However, she was upset when she learned the full extent of his habit of telling tall stories, feeling he had been dishonest with her. Although they put it behind them, Robert was quickly ordered back to the city when he solved his case. Leah gave him a farewell kiss and he left her a painting as a farewell present.
Leah once more got in the way of Miles and Kirsty’s relationship when she saw Kirsty being comforted by her friend Justin and told Miles she thought they were having an affair; in fact, Kirsty was pregnant. She was worried when the fridge at the Diner was discovered to be faulty after they’d been serving food from it all day and, when Kirsty was hospitalised and suffered a miscarriage, she confessed to Miles she thought she might have given her food poisoning and was relieved to learn that wasn’t the case. After Kirsty left town, Leah and Miles began spending time together again. Leah was annoyed when VJ threw a water bomb at Miles’s car and subsequently disabled the safeties at the Diner so people could access adult sites on the computers, then learned he had been forced into it by bullies at school. She and Miles went to confront Ian Radcliffe, the father of ring leader Riley, and Leah felt guilty when instead Miles was attacked by Riley and his friends and ended up on assault charges and relieved when the matter was dropped. She was shocked when Miles misinterpreted her comment about feeling ready to start a new relationship and kissed her, making it clear she wasn’t talking about him. In fact, the person who had caught her eye was Hazem Kassir, a joiner who had helped with the Diner refit, and she brought him along as her date to the town Christmas party.
Leah was originally reluctant to go on a date with Hazem after her failed relationship with Robert but they ended up having dinner together and enjoying it before going on a picnic. With racial tensions rising in the aftermath of the people smuggling revelations, Leah witnessed Hazem being taunted by a couple of drunks. The incident caused her to express her doubts about the pro-refugee rally being held at the Diner but Irene, Ruby and Hazem persuaded her to go along with it. However, as she and Hazem arrived they were attacked by a racist mob, with Hazem being badly beaten and Leah suffering some minor injuries. She then had to go through the experience of the Diner being firebombed with her inside it, only surviving thanks to Alf, Miles and Geoff. When Hazem was left needing emergency neurosurgery, she reflected on how every man she cared about had something bad happen to them.
Once Leah was discharged from hospital, and having paid a depressing visit to the wrecked Diner, she shut herself away at home, not changing out of her dressing gown, leaving VJ in the city and quickly getting rid of Miles, Alf, Geoff, Ruby and Irene when they came round. When Rachel visited, she admitted she hadn’t left the house in a week but refused counselling, although she later broke down in tears when Colleen visited. In the end, Miles visited her with information about agoraphobia and, after teaching her some relaxation techniques, persuaded her to take a walk down to the remains of the Diner with him. After more talks from Miles and Alf, she found the strength to visit Hazem at the hospital in the city, where she was shocked to find his mother seemed to think their relationship was more serious than it was and expected her and VJ to move to the city to be with Hazem. She was willing to go along with it but Hazem realised she didn’t love him and they went their separate ways.
Leah was reluctant to hold a big reopening of the Diner despite Irene and Colleen’s encouragement, feeling they had nothing to celebrate, but John Palmer convinced her it would show they hadn’t been beaten. However, the crowd caused her agoraphobia to kick in and she ended up shutting herself away in the store room in a panic until Martha and Charlie talked her out. Tony suggested she try to build up her confidence by taking self defence classes, which were being run by the new vicar, Elijah Johnson. After she found the group uncomfortable, Elijah offered to give her private lessons in exchange for discounts at the Diner for his retreat but after Irene and Ruby teased her about how good looking he was and they had shared a coffee together she was shocked to realise she was attracted to him. She admitted her feelings to Irene, only for Miles and Colleen to overhear, and ended up walking out of a private session because she felt uncomfortable. She covered and told him she was ready to rejoin the main group instead of having private sessions but this merely resulted in her being paired with him as her partner until he became equally uncomfortable and switched partners. The pair then ended up being locked in a caravan by Rabbit after which Miles admitted to her that he had accidentally told Elijah about her feelings. She felt humiliated and refused to talk to him, before coming round and bringing him food as a peace offering. Miles then accidentally told Leah that Elijah felt the same way, resulting in her asking him out to dinner.
After their first date and first kiss, despite him walking in on her in a face pack, Leah was slightly worried that Elijah didn’t want to introduce her to his colleagues. Elijah then revealed a secret he’d been keeping: that Vinnie had died in a farm accident eighteen months previous. When VJ overheard them talking, Leah was forced to admit that she’d known Vinnie was alive and struggled to explain her decision to keep it from him. She was uncertain when Elijah suggested taking them both to visit Vinnie’s grave but agreed when it became clear VJ was keen on the idea. On seeing the grave she was finally able to grieve for him and feel she had had some closure. She was worried when Elijah pulled away from her and, even after he introduced her to a colleague, worried he might not believe in sex before marriage. She was quickly convinced otherwise when they spent the night together. Their relationship came under scrutiny when Elijah’s retreat colleagues visited the town, including the notorious Bishop Pitt, who caught them kissing in her car after they tried to hide the relationship from him. After Leah defended the relationship, he gave them his blessing.
Leah was shocked to learn about Miles’ visions of Rabbit, when he turned up at the house to give her and Elijah a warning about cows, little horses and school children, and wasn’t keen on Elijah’s plan to play along. However, she became something of a convert when one of Miles’ visions allowed him to save their lives after they passed out in a gas-filled barn on a school trip. She was shocked when, after spending the whole evening quizzing her about her opinions on various subjects, Elijah proposed to her and turned him down, feeling it was too early in their relationship. She was reiterating her belief that things were better as they were when Nicole turned up with an engagement ring Elijah had bought for her. She ended up breaking up with him, feeling she couldn’t give him what he wanted. However, when he made it clear how much he cared about her, she changed her mind and told him to ask her again, accepting this time.
She initially ignored Elijah’s warnings about his parents, worrying that he felt they wouldn’t like her. When Elijah decided to cancel their visit because the rectory was under repair, Leah rang them and invited them to stay with her and also suggested Elijah move in. Elijah gave her a complicated list of dos and don’ts but she seemed to make a good first impression on the domineering Lijuana. She was worried that their constant arguing pointed the way to her and Elijah’s future but his father Song convinced her otherwise. However, the stress of their presence caused many arguments, as she and Elijah went to the Diner to escape Lijuan’s cooking advice only for her to turn up with a meal. After a comment from Elijah led Lijuan and Song to believe Leah didn’t want them there, she admitted that she did find their presence stressful but told them families were like that, leaving them impressed with her honesty. Lijuan then placed a traditional document on top of the fridge to see if the signs indicated a successful marriage and when Lijuan suffered a toothache that was considered a bad omen she objected to the fact Elijah was unwilling to stand up to them, sparking an argument. However, talks from Irene, Colleen and Song and Elijah making it clear he was committed to her left them in a better place by the time the pair left.
Soon after, Leah was forced to pull out of a parents’ talk at the school and was pleased when Elijah offered to go in her place. When Elijah decided to talk about his work as a missionary, Leah worried that he might find life in Summer Bay too quiet. When she found out Elijah had received a letter from the missionary agency asking if he was still available, she was annoyed he hadn’t turned them down yet and the argument resulted in him signing up with them again. She later told him she understood if he needed to prove himself but the comment annoyed him and he called off the wedding. The issue came up sooner than they thought when Elijah saw a report about a disaster in West Danmar and decided he should volunteer his services. Leah told him that although she respected his decision she couldn’t spend her whole life waiting around while he constantly left her on her own and ended the relationship.
Leah had difficulty sleeping afterwards and nearly fell asleep during the trial run at Angelo’s restaurant. She ended up with a bad cold as a result of exhaustion and Miles and Colleen found her collapsed in the Diner kitchen. She gave Rachel advice about her and Tony’s arguments over emigrating and said goodbye to the pair before they left. She was worried when she found some letters Elijah had written to VJ in secret but Irene suggested she was more upset that the letters weren’t to her. She replaced them where she’d found them without telling VJ but asked Miles to try and find out who’d been helping him, since she knew they hadn’t been sent to the house. Miles admitted it was him and Leah was angry at first, until she admitted she’d written several letters to Elijah herself but not sent them. VJ gave her permission to read the letters and after doing so, and talking to Irene, Miles and Marilyn, she wrote to him. She soon started stressing out about the reply so decided to ring him instead to get an immediate answer. Although she enjoyed the calls, she was worried about the effect the uncertainty was having on VJ so decided to fly out to Africa to see Elijah and see if they could rekindle their relationship. She even went as far as asking Irene if she’d be willing to take over the Diner if she decided to stay in Africa. She began making plans to commute but was worried Elijah wouldn’t be in favour of the idea until she called him and learned he was. Before leaving, she learned what was going on with Penn Graham and told Charlie about it before banning him from the Diner. She also gave Romeo and Indigo advice about contacting the latter’s mum and encouraged Charlie about moving in with Angelo.
When she returned to Summer Bay after the visit, she had decided the relationship was well and truly over, only to hear from Miles that Elijah had been injured. Leah was all for going back out there to help him but Miles convinced her to let him go instead. Leah delayed telling VJ and he was hurt that she treated him like a baby. She began spending time with Robert Robertson, who was back in town investigating Penn’s murder, but was annoyed when he used a comment she’d made when questioning Alf and Will. She forgave him but told him they couldn’t be more than friends and confiscated VJ’s phone when he found out he’d been making frequent calls to Elijah in Africa. After VJ ran away to try and see Elijah again, Leah managed to convince him the relationship was over. Then, when she got drunk at Bianca’s hens’ party, she went to the police station and kissed Robertson. However, when Robert turned up to arrest Alf after John and Gina’s wedding, Leah gave him a disapproving look.
Leah had difficulty maintaining her friendship with Robert after the incident but was relieved when VJ continued to forgive him, although she still backed away when he tried to kiss her. She was pleased when he showed his vulnerable side to her after his case began to collapse but annoyed when he still wouldn’t discount Alf in the face of the new evidence. After the incident, Robert was recalled to the city and asked Leah to come with him but she felt she wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment, admitting she still had feelings for Elijah. She gave advice to Marilyn over her attempt to arrange a contract to adopt Nicole’s baby, telling her she needed to consider Nicole’s feelings as well. She accompanied Charlie and Bianca to a singles’ night at Angelo’s, where she had some minor trouble from Heath Braxton and tended to Miles after he was injured in a brawl that sprang up. She blamed Heath when VJ was injured surfing until VJ confirmed it was an accident. She was concerned by Brax encouraging VJ to go surfing, especially when he came home with a cut arm, but warmed towards Brax when he encouraged VJ to listen to her and accepted a date with him. However, she quickly realised he was only after information about Charlie.
She had mixed feelings when she heard Elijah was coming back to town, especially when Colleen and Indigo insisted he was coming back for her. She cooked Elijah a special meal and went to the caravan park to drop it off, only to be shocked when he turned up with a wife and stepson. She was even more confused when Elijah came to her house and kissed her and sent him packing. Miles confirmed to her that Elijah had only married Grace so her son Thabo could have medical treatment and she took VJ round to Elijah’s to explain things to him. She asked Miles to talk to VJ about Elijah’s new family and had to deal with VJ becoming friends with Thabo as a result. She took him to see Thabo in hospital, where she offered some comfort to Elijah, but refused Miles’ request that she go and see him while Thabo was in theatre. When Elijah offered to leave Grace for her, she told him what he did with his marriage was his own choice. She tried to support him after Thabo’s death only for him to tell her he’d slept with Grace. She was also concerned when Grace told her Elijah was still in love with her and admitted that Elijah had told her he thought Grace and Thabo should return to Africa. She refused to lie to Immigration when they began investigating the marriage but it proved a moot point when Grace admitted the truth and was deported.
Leah tried to support Elijah in the aftermath despite his avoiding her. She was upset when she found out he’d asked Colleen for food for the shelter where he was working instead of her. When she and Colleen found two boys in a car outside the Diner and learned the family was living there, she called Charlie and asked Elijah to find them somewhere to stay. She brought some food to the shelter as an excuse to see Elijah and found him beaten up. She offered to let him stay with her while he recovered but Miles felt it was a bad idea and invited Elijah to stay with him instead. Leah was annoyed at the interference but accepted he was doing what he thought was best. He then admitted to Leah that he had feelings for her. After she and Miles had made cakes together for the mission, Leah suggested they kiss to see if there was chemistry. They started seeing each other in secret but Leah was thrown when Elijah turned up at the house with flowers and announced he still loved her. She felt guilty, as if she was cheating on Elijah, and she and Miles were honest with him about their relationship. Once they’d got over the initial difficulties with Elijah, they went public, going on a date at Angelo’s restaurant and then sleeping together. She kept it quiet from VJ until he walked in on them kissing but he proved fine with it.
She agreed to help Charlie cook a cake to impress the Braxtons when she and Ruby were invited to a family barbeque and was somewhat annoyed when Charlie threw it out. Leah agreed with Ruby’s plan to sign Charlie up to a dating site, admitting she’d been a bit serious lately. She was briefly chatted up by Pee Wee at Charlie’s birthday party. She supported Elijah when he wasn’t allowed to return to the church and listened to John complaining about Roo taking Romeo and Indi to Hawaii.
She was annoyed when Ruby had Casey stay over after his mum threw him out, worried about the effect it would have on VJ, although she ultimately let him sleep on the sofa until Brax found him somewhere else. The incident caused her to ask Miles to teach VJ about the facts of life but he ultimately agreed with her that VJ was too young. When Ruby realised Charlie was seeing Brax, Leah admitted she’d guessed as much and was pleased when they later broke up, saying she was uncomfortable with him being in the house. She told Miles he had to tell Elijah when Marilyn believed a tarot card reading meant they were to be together.
Leah was shocked when she found out she was pregnant, since she’d thought she couldn’t have any more children. She worried about losing the baby and, after admitting the truth to Miles, considered an abortion but ultimately, after Miles made it clear he wanted to keep the baby, decided to go ahead with it. The decision left her feeling more optimistic and she encouraged Charlie to take a risk with Brax, in contrast to her earlier stance. She tried to keep the pregnancy quiet but when Colleen found out and told Marilyn and Elijah they had to tell VJ. She was also shocked to learn Miles was still on anti-depressants and worried when VJ said he was worried they would split up, as she and Dan had as a result of her last pregnancy. She turned Miles down when he proposed to her, saying they’d be getting married for the wrong reasons, and suggested they move in together instead. Miles came to live with her and VJ and she unknowingly stopped Gina going after Xavier by commenting on how he understood him better.
When Miles found Casey was carrying a knife, she told him to talk to Charlie about it and also persuaded him to tell Gina, inadvertently leading to Casey being expelled. She tried to arrange time off work during the pregnancy, only for Irene to be evasive, so she gave Sasha a job. She was concerned when April made a comment about Irene’s behaviour and went to see her, learning she had breast cancer. She was left trapped in the Diner during a storm with Elijah and VJ where she feared she was having a miscarriage. She was relieved when she got to the hospital and found it was a false alarm. However, she suffered a miscarriage for real a few weeks later and, when Miles told Alf and Roo, was angry and refused to let him stay with her after surgery. She continued to be distant towards him when she arrived home, going back to work and working late rather than go home with him and avoiding his attempt to discuss the matter. She freaked out when a delivery man brought a cot to the house and then told Sid she wanted a tubal ligation. When she learned Miles had stored the cot at the caravan park, she went round in a hysterical mood to dispose of it before admitting she didn’t want any more children to both Miles and Elijah. She seemed disappointed when Miles said he was fine with that and continued to avoid him.
After a tense family game of cricket, she revealed she blamed Miles for making her go ahead with the pregnncy and didn’t knoew how to get past it. When she complained about Miles leaving books lying about, he took them back to the caravan park. She felt guilty and ordered a bookcase for him only to come home and find him preparing to move out. She convinced him to stay by telling him about the bookcase but when it arrived she wanted to store it in the garage and they had another argument which ended with Miles moving out. She ignored his attempts to contact her and admitted to Elijah she didn’t see how he could still love her. She helped organise a breast cancer fundraiser to cheer up Irene and insisted VJ help her instead of going to the movies with Miles. VJ was upset that she didn’t seem to care about what he wanted and ran away. When she heard he was on a bus, she suspected he was going to Queensland to see Lily, so she and Miles went on a road trip to look for him. They ended up in a bitter argument but the conflict allowed them to sort out their differences slightly and acknowledge they had both handled things badly. When she received word VJ had turned up at her parents’ in Melbourne, she went to collect him alone.
When she returned and heard Miles had cooked a welcome home meal for them, she claimed they had been delayed and were spending the night at a hotel. When Miles learned the truth, she admitted she felt he wouldn’t be able to give up his dream of becoming a parent and refused to get back with him. She accepted support from Elijah but was unaware he had feelings for her and offered to pay for him to go to Thailand with Miles. Unable to cope with just being friends, Miles elected to leave town and Leah turned up with Elijah and VJ to say goodbye to him.
She had to deal with Charlie’s death after she was shot in their home by an enemy of Brax’s and spoke at Charlie’s funeral. She became overprotective of VJ and accepted an offer from Elijah to move in with them to help out. Feeling Charlie would want someone looking out for him, she did her best to keep an eye on Brax in the aftermath, talking him out of setting fire to the restaurant. She walked in on a confrontation between Brax and Geoffrey King and, on getting Geoffey’s details off Heath and learning Brax owed him $25,000, paid off the debt. Brax was furious since Geoffrey’s “”debt”” was actually extortion and he now owed Leah.
She was shocked when Elijah announced that he still loved her and made it clear she only saw him as a friend. She offered a place to Ruby when her attempt to live in the city didn’t work out but Ruby was unhappy with Brax, who she blamed for Charlie’s death, being at the house and when Leah refused to abandon him she moved out. Brax took up cage fighting to earn money to pay her back. She was unhappy when Elijah helped him train but, when Brax lost his temper with her on finding her wearing some perfume Charlie had bought her, she realised she couldn’t help him and gave Elijah her blessing. She refused to stop helping Brax when Ruby asked to move back in, resulting in Ruby moving in with Roo instead. When Brax’s former cornerman, Trent “”Sully”” Sullivan, told her Brax was taking on a much bigger opponent, she ran to the stadium and interrupted the fight, distracting Brax and causing him to take a beating. She berated Heath and Elijah for letting him fight and was furious when she went to check on him only to find a party at the house, then found Brax in the bedroom with another woman. She tried to build bridges between Brax and Ruby but his womanising got in the way, although Leah did help Ruby see his point of view.
She was upset when Henri Brown assumed she and Brax were a couple. When Colleen realised Casey’s friend Tyler Churchill had stolen a knife from the Diner, Leah alerted Brax and also called the police. She was shocked on learning Brax intended to take part in another fight only a few hours after being injured in a robbery. She failed to talk him out of it or convince the referee to stop the fight and he was hospitalised with a cerebral haemorrhage. Afterwards, she convinced him to give up fighting. Leah admitted to Roo she was in love with Brax and when he came to her house after discharging himself from hospital, she held him a bit too long while comforting him. He walked out and she called Sid to go looking for him, before they glossed over the incident the next morning.
She gave Liam and Bianca a place to stay after they fell out with April. She learned VJ had been arrested after vandalising a police car while trying to impress the River Boys and initially blamed Brax but later agreed to his proposal that he and VJ do up a trail bike together. She was upset when Brax later told her to leave them alone while they were doing it because he thought she had feelings for him. She was furious when she found out Elijah had told him and almost didn’t turn up to say goodbye to him. Leah denied her feelings and defended Brax when he intimidated Steve Carmody to get him to admit he’d framed Ruby for drug possession. She signed up to an internet dating site she, Irene and Roo stumbled across and Roo convinced her to reply to one of the responses she had. She took her date, Craig Jensen, to Angelo’s to prove to Brax she had moved on but Brax wasn’t there and Craig, who turned out to be a depressive, walked out when she got drunk and let slip she was just using him. Finding her drinking with Biff Carruthers, one of the River Boys, Brax took her home where she tried to kiss him. She admitted her feelings and accepted he didn’t reciprocate, settling for being friends.
She then had to deal with VJ being bullied by Jett James and having his shirt stolen and also Liam and Bianca’s break-up, which led to Bianca moving out. She was uncertain about Liam’s helping Hayley O’Connor over her drug addiction. She also had a hand in Colleen’s farewell dinner. She supported Brax when he disagreed with Liam seeing Hayley, after he informed her Hayley had got Jake out of prison and she had passed the information on to Liam, and also advised Brax over Heath’s renewed contact with their father Danny, convincing Brax to visit him. She acted as Ruby’s confidante when she and Romeo had difficulties and promised to keep an eye on her when Ruby announced she was pregnant. She noticed Liam had a cut head and took him to hospital, where he admitted to her and Sid that he’d taken cocaine and suffered a seizure. She warned Marilyn about Danny when he was released and turned up at the Diner. After some initial reluctance, she let Liam move back in when he and Hayley broke up.
She learned that Ruby was lying about being pregnant and insisted she tell Romeo, threatening to tell him herself if she didn’t. When Romeo misunderstood and believed Ruby had had a miscarriage, Ruby was willing to go along with it but Leah demanded she be honest. When they broke up as a result, she tried to support Ruby and asked Brax to talk to her but upset her by offering Romeo a room at the house. Nevertheless, she helped Ruby pack when she planned to move to the city and, when Ruby admitted to causing the car accident that had left Dexter in a coma, supported her by accompanying her to the police station when she turned herself in. She was left playing peacemaker in the house when VJ sided with Romeo after Liam started dating Indi. With Romeo having moved back in with Alf, she offered the spare room to Natalie but was uncomfortable to discover she was dating Brax, although she ultimately told her to go for it. When Liam took the blame for breaking a vase, Leah realised that VJ was really responsible and was impressed when Liam’s actions prompted VJ to admit it.
When VJ and Jett stole some fireworks intended for the surf carnival and set them off, Leah banned VJ from taking part in the carnival but after he’d spent the day cleaning up the Diner and the pier she relented and let him compete. Leah attended the party at Angelo’s afterwards but was mortified when Marilyn drunkenly got up on stage and told a young man, Jamie Sharpe, he should ask Leah out in front of everyone. However, Jamie did spend the evening talking to her and they shared a kiss. He asked her out and, after trying to put him off by telling him her family situation, she went out for dinner and spent the night with him. The next day, she attempted to contact him but was concerned when he sent her several expensive gifts, feeling he was getting too serious too soon, and got Liam to put him off when he called her. He agreed to back off when they spoke at the Diner and they had dinner at his home where they shared a kiss. However, when she found out he had taken VJ out on his jet ski behind her back and suggested VJ keep it from her, she was furious and told him to stay away from her family. She was also concerned about Liam doing work for his father Adam.
She relented slightly after Jamie approached her at the Diner and asked to be friends and, when he turned up at the house with video games, she let him stay for dinner. However, when he started behaving like a father figure towards VJ, she told him she wasn’t attracted to him and he should leave. The Diner was then vandalised and Leah suspected Jamie. Adam gave him an alibi but also paid for the damage, cementing her belief. Jamie invited her along to a party and she agreed, then got Liam to tell him she was sick and hung up when Jamie called her on Liam’s phone. Jamie’s behaviour became more sinister when he sneaked into the house and watched her sleep and Liam found he had Photoshopped himself into a photo of Leah and VJ. She kept VJ off school because she was worried, only to find Jamie talking to him at the Diner. Leah tried to report the matter to the police but her past consensual relationship with Jamie made it hard for them to proceed. When she caught Jamie being aggressive towards VJ, she felt she had no other option: She took VJ and made a quiet exit from town, telling everyone apart from Liam and Natalie she was going on a long holiday with her parents.
Leah returned after more than six months away but soon found herself in turmoil on her return, with both Kyle Braxton and Zac MacGuire having moved into the house in her absence and one of the windows smashed as a result of the sexual assault allegation against Zac, along with Brax having recently been shot by Adam and Zac having a history of selling pot. She began trying to rebuild herself by redecorating the house. She allowed amnesiac Tamara Kingsley to stay at the house but chided Kyle for letting her get too close to him, resulting in Kyle moving out. She also objected to Zac and Natalie arguing in the house and told Zac one of them would have to move out but was shocked when this prompted Zac to go and stay with some friends.
She was concerned to learn Tamara had slept with Kyle and encouraged her to return home to her parents. She later looked after Tamara when she began to have flashbacks of her time with Casey. After Natalie’s departure, Leah made the mistake of allowing Holly Chapman, who had wrongly accused Zac of sexual harassment, into the house, allowing her to plant drugs in Zac’s room. Leah felt Holly wasn’t really bad and tried to talk her into working out what she wanted. When Bianca found out Holly had been sexually abused, Zac told Leah she had been right about her.
Leah was delighted when Sally returned to town until Sally revealed Pippa had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and she and VJ might be carriers. Leah rushed VJ to be tested but didn’t tell him why and the tests came back negative. Confused by the incident, VJ and Jett did some digging and found out what was going on, resulting in them letting it slip to Pippa. Leah reassured VJ when he felt guilty over the incident.
Since her return, Leah had been spending little time at the Diner. When Irene called her out on it, she admitted she didn’t feel challenged and decided to become a silent partner in the business. Instead, she enrolled in a uni course to study to be a youth worker. She helped Zac investigate when Hannah Wilson warned him that his brother Ethan had joined a cult. When Zac and the Braxtons effectively kidnapped Ethan’s children Oscar and Evelyn and hid them at a motel, Leah helped out by taking Oscar for hospital treatment without letting anyone know who he was. She covered for them with the police and let Hannah and Oscar stay at the house. However, she didn’t tell VJ what was going on and he mentioned to the cult leader, Murray Granger, that Zac lived with them. Murray came to the house and refused to leave without seeing Oscar and Evelyn until Oscar threatened to report him for causing his injuries. However, Leah upset Zac by accusing him of taking advantage of Hannah. She bonded with Oscar by playing a game of pool with him and he opened up to her about how he felt he wasn’t in control of his life.
Bianca offered her a work placement at the school when she achieved an early success in convincing Matt Page’s father to get him to come back to school. She was shocked when Jade Montgomery, the bullying deputy head inherited from Mangrove River, promptly belittled Matt and, after seeing the pair talking shortly before a litter bin was set alight, wondered if Matt had done it to get back at her. She again suspected Montgomery when the school was vandalised. Montgomery undermined Leah when she encouraged Josh to stay at school, and bullied him into walking out of class. Leah responded by challenging her and calling her a failure, then helped Bianca make an official complaint against Montgomery that saw her suspended, although she was unnerved when she started getting silent phone calls. She was surprised that Montgomery was still hanging around town, prompting Montgomery to tell her she planned to stay and fight. After she saw Montgomery talking to Matt, she was confused when Montgomery changed her mind and said she was leaving.
Leah became even more suspicious of Montgomery when she tried to blame the bomb explosion at the hospital on a Mangrove River student and didn’t seem to know where the bomb was. When Alf revealed the bomb had been in Bianca’s bag, Leah suspected Montgomery. She spoke to Matt, who admitted Montgomery had paid him to start the fire and also tried to get him to accuse Bianca of sexual harrassment, as well as revealing Montgomery had burnt down Mangrove River High and threatened to frame him. Leah confronted Montgomery with the information and got her to admit she had planted the bomb. She gained another lodger when Nate moved into the spare room.
She filled in at the Diner when Irene and Roo were absent but was annoyed when Chris started acting like her superior. She ordered him out and brought him back into line by pointing out how much the boss had to do. Leah became a fully qualified youth worker and continued her work at the school. She disciplined VJ when he and Jett threw a party at Irene’s place in her absence and assigned him and Jett to mentor the Year 7s as punishment for trying to blackmail Marilyn. She reluctantly helped Irene try to set up Chris and Tamara on a date, only for Tamara to react with horror at the idea. She refused to give Sasha Matt’s contact details after he dropped out of school and was annoyed when she broke into her office and took them anyway. She was hospitalised after eating risotto which Chris had prepared with poisoned mushrooms and for a time it looked like she would need a liver transplant but her liver eventually repaired itself. She let Matt stay with her briefly when Sasha clued her in on him being evicted from home and advised Nate to make sure things were really over between him and Ricky. She helped organise search parties when Darcy and Harley went missing and reported Tamara missing when she didn’t come home that night. She supported Tamara after she was run over but defended Zac to Nate when it looked like he’d been driving. She again comforted Tamara when she learned she might go blind and said goodbye to her when she left.
At Sasha’s behest, she convinced Matt to return to school. She wondered why she hadn’t been able to get hold of him at the hostel but he failed to turn up to a meeting. When she found out that he had been thrown out and was sleeping at the school, Leah suggested he move in with her permanently and talked him into staying on as school captain alongside Sasha. She gave Biance a place to stay when she and Heath are separated. When they found out someone had fired a shot through the Braxtons’ window, Leah suggested to Bianca that they look after Harley for a while. Bianca handled it okay and Leah pointed out her and Heath’s reason for being apart had gone. She learned the new principal at the school, Sophie Taylor, was Nate’s estranged wife and was concerned when Nate revealed she had a history of abusing painkiller medication, even more so when Nate revealed he was considering giving it another go with her. Nevertheless, she joined Zac in stopping Hannah intruding on their date. She tried to calm things between Maddy and Josh when they got into an argument at school. When the caravan park house became crowded during John and Marilyn’s trial living there, Leah offered to let Jett move in with her.
Jett and Bianca soon moved on and Leah was left trying to play peacemaker at the Diner when Irene and Sasha fell out. When Heath turned up at school trying to see Darcy after being banned from contact, Leah and Zac took charge of the situation and convinced him to leave. She talked Sophie out of phoning the police when Darcy went missing. She wondered if Sophie was pregnant and was at the hospital when it turned out she had a ruptured appendix. She suggested Sophie come and stay with them but began to worry she was taking advantage of Nate and pretending to be in more pain than she was. However, when she raised the subject Nate told her to stay out of it. Sophie also started making trouble for her at school. However, they made up when they had a drink together at Angelo’s, after which Leah got drunk with Zac. Sophie suggested that she and Zac would make a good couple; Zac laughed at the idea but did ask for his room back, which she agreed to, and found herself paired with him to look for Oscar when he collapsed in the bush. Sophie confided in her about the fact that Nate had cheated when their marriage had started to break down.
Matt tricked her into kissing Zac when he was standing by the kissing booth at the fundraising market and she admitted she was attracted to him. She ran away before he could answer, then told him to forget she said anything. Irene and Roo convinced her to talk to him but when she did he told her he didn’t want to ruin their friendship. He offered to move out but she asked him to stay and they ended up being volunteered to chaperone the school formal. There, Zac asked Leah to dance but she turned him down. When she saw him talking to Hannah, she assumed he only saw her as a friend but then he turned up at her office and kissed her. Leah kept the relationship secret from VJ and invited herself along to John and Marilyn’s abortive elopement. Matt videoed her and Zac kissing in a classroom and, despite Leah asking him to keep it quiet, showed it at school, resulting in VJ finding out. Leah was furious, prompting Matt to move out and reject her offer to move back in. She had a hard time getting VJ onside. When she found out Matt was sleeping in the Diner, she convinced him to come back and face up to what he’d done.
She was forced to report VJ when he punched bully Tyson Lee and was reluctant to believe Tyson was bullying him. When Tyson claimed VJ had pushed him into a locker, Leah was impartial during the investigation but when VJ was cleared he was upset she hadn’t believed him. She managed to get Matt to a school exam when he’d stayed up all night drinking with his father Gray. She and VJ made their peace and, when he went missing, she was immediately suspicious of Tyson; with Brax’s help, she forced him to admit he’d left VJ in the bush. Brax and Nate went to look for him but Leah lost contact with them. A search was organised and Leah was relieved when VJ turned up fine. However, she worried that he wasn’t opening up about what happened. She helped Maddy look into going back to school and convinced VJ and Matt to go on a trip with Alf and Zac. She kept quiet about the fact Nate had kissed Hannah, angering Sophie when she learned she’d kept it from her.
She was shocked to learn VJ had got a tattoo and blasted Zac for not telling her. However, when VJ announced he wanted to drop out of school, Leah found herself out of her depth and was forced to ask Zac for help. When VJ acted up in Zac’s class, Leah grounded him. She rescinded it after dragging him home from a party but things remained tense. Leah was angry when Matt gave her a speech about how grown up VJ was but eventually agreed that VJ should do his best at school for the rest of the year and then they would make a decision afterwards. Leah helped Matt prepare a uni application but refused to let him have Sasha stay over. She was shocked when he wanted Sasha to move in as a trial. Leah agreed to consider it but then offered the room to Nate instead, although by then Matt and VJ were making plans to turn it into a games and study room instead. She was pleased with VJ’s end of year marks. She joined the bus trip to watch Phoebe and Matt play in the city, only for them to be forced off the road by a car containing Nate and Sophie. Leah was thrown clear of the crash and left unconscious in the grass for some time before being found. At the hospital, it was discovered she had a bleed on her brain and was left in a coma, being transferred to a hospital in the city. An attempt to take her off the ventilator failed and the doctors admitted there was nothing they could do but wait.
Leah remained comatose for three months before recovering and being reunited with Zac and VJ. However, the doctor warned her that her head injury could mean physical and mental difficulties and behavioural changes. Leah tried to settle back into her life but was bothered by headaches and mood swings, suffering from a ringing noise in her ears when she first went to the Diner. Reunited with Matt, she learned he had been hitting the bottle and tried to convince him to stop. She offered to work in the Diner while Irene was away but ended up burning her hand on a coffee machine when she went into a trance. She was looking forward to a night alone with Zac and VJ on the Anzac Day trip but when Nate come home unexpectedly she ended up shouting at him. Zac arranged a picnic for the two of them in the front room, where they said they loved each other for the first time.
She found Matt passed out drunk and called Nate. When she blamed herself for him going off the rails, Matt handed her over his bottle and they comforted each other. She arranged for him to go away to a rehab camp. She was puzzled when she overheard VJ telling Zac she was glad he sticked around and questioned Zac. When she learned Zac and VJ hadn’t expected her to recover and VJ was on the verge of moving away from Summer Bay, she lost her temper, tried to throw Zac out of the house and slapped her son. Irene found her frantically scrubbing a bench at the Diner and she refused to talk to the pair when she returned home but apologised the next morning. When she snapped at Chris after mishearing one of his comments, she went to see Nate who agreed to look into it. He ordered an MRI and she told first Zac and then VJ. Tests showed that she had an aneurysm and Nate advised surgery, since there was a danger it could burst and kill her, but Leah was worried about dying during the operation and refused, telling her family they needed to support her.
She decided to go back to work, then argued with Zac and announced she wouldn’t go, only to turn up the next morning having apparently forgotten the argument. She then yelled at Matt when he asked her advice about Maddy. VJ took her home and she convinced him to keep it quiet. Kat then turned up wanting to question Matt about a stolen ATM. Leah initially defended him but then found money hidden in his mattress. Nate convinced her to talk to Matt first, but when he was unable to offer an explanation she gave the money to Kat. She apologised to Matt but he accepted that she’d done the right thing. However, she then fumbled her way through a speech to the senior school, was unable to answer any of their questions and ended up yelling Maddy, having forgotten she had cancer. Zac confronted her and, when she refused to admit she had a problem, fired her. She turned up at the Diner in a confused state, calling Alf “Dad”, and ended up wandering off into the bush, eventually being found by the SES. The experience convinced her to have the operation.
Leah made Zac her next of kin and made him promise to turn off her life support if anything went wrong and she ended up brain dead. Zac agreed on condition that she tell VJ the situation. Matt kept his court appearance a secret from Leah, then, after he had been given a good behaviour bond, announced he was moving out for a bit. Leah went into surgery and had a number of scary moments during recovery, first bleeding from the entry point and then flatlining and spending a few hours on life support, but eventually pulled through. When she returned home, Zac proposed to her in public on the beach but she turned him down. However, after a chat with VJ she surprised him at home with a proposal of her own and they became engaged. They tried to have a quiet night in but John and Marilyn dragged them off to a wedding fair.
Shortly after their engagement party, Leah convinced Matt to move back in. A new teacher at school, Charlotte King, turned out to be an ex-girlfriend of Zac’s. Leah invited her round to dinner and noticed tension between her and Matt but thought it was just him not wanting a teacher around. Evelyn stayed the night with them after a falling out with Hannah. On learning Hannah was unhappy with her life with the twins, Leah suggested they move in but Zac felt there was no room. They attended Jett’s farewell.
Soon after, Zac changed his mind and both Evelyn and Oscar moved in with the family. She found a man’s belt in Charlotte’s motel room and teased her about having a secret lover; Andy claimed it was him, when in fact it was Matt. Leah’s house was then burned down in an arson attack and Billie Ashford was blamed. Leah and the family moved in with Alf and Roo at the caravan park house. They learned that the insurance had lapsed while Leah was in a coma so Leah decided to sell her share of the Diner but was delighted when Irene and Marilyn presented her with a photo album they’d put together. Zac told her she didn’t have to sell her share because he’d inherited $50,000 from a godfather. However, Leah was made redundant from the school by new principal Greg Snelgrove. Zac told her they weren’t getting the money but she was buoyed by the news that their friends were putting on a banquet as a fundraiser. Despite Irene and Marilyn’s instructions, she insisted on bringing a dish of her own. During the banquet, Charlotte’s son Hunter appeared and announced Zac was his father, making Leah suspicious of Charlotte’s reasons for coming back. Zac asked Leah to make an effort with Hunter but he made it clear he had no interest in getting to know her and, when she attempted to build bridges, scornfully told her that she’d soon be gone. She tried to tell Zac about Hunter’s behaviour and, when Charlotte accused her of victimising him and Zac took Hunter’s side, suggested a DNA test. She convinced Hunter to stay for a family meal but when he found the DNA test leaflets he turned on her. Later, her brakes failed while she was driving Evelyn to the shops and she suspected Hunter. She found out it was actually an oil leak but told Zac she didn’t feel safe around Hunter and wanted him to stay away from the household.
When Zac stayed longer than planned with Hunter because he apparently had a cramp and nearly drowned, Leah realised Hunter had faked it but Zac refused to listen. When she saw him going fishing with Charlotte and Hunter, she told him she couldn’t just sit by and let him build a family without her, giving him the ring back. They reunited after VJ forced them to admit they still liked each other. However, just a few days later Leah told him the relationship couldn’t be fixed and Zac moved out. VJ was angry when he found out, accusing her of being so busy expecting things to go wrong that she got in first. When Hunter gloated that Zac was living with him and Charlotte, Leah stormed round and delivered a rant at them. When she learned Zac had moved out, she confronted Charlotte, who admitted she still loved Zac. At an Ed Sheeran concert arranged by Matt, Leah went up to Zac and kissed him. He moved back in and they stood firm together when Hunter denegrated Leah and accused Zac of choosing her over them. She helped John and Marilyn prepare for their DoCS meeting by giving them a mock interview. She and Zac got into another slanging match with Hunter when Zac cancelled a meeting with him. She then found Marilyn after she had been electrocuted as a result of the Diner safe being stolen and wires being left exposed. She visited Marilyn when she recovered, only for Marilyn to fail to recognise her because of her amnesia.
She was wary of Evelyn’s new boyfriend Tank Snelgrove and tried to get her to cool things with him until after exams. When Evelyn told her Tank was Greg’s son and Greg hit him, Leah spoke to Greg, who said Tank had hit him and he’d given up on him since, and that he turned girls against their families. She tried to ban Evelyn from seeing Tank and wasn’t fooled when she staged a break up. She convinced Alf to let Maddy have her 18th birthday party unsupervised only for Tank and his friends to gatecrash and ruin it, and advised Marilyn to see John’s point of view over travelling. She and Zac tried to ban Evelyn from seeing Tank only for her to sneak him into her room. In the end, Evelyn ran away with Tank only for it to turn into a nightmare and admitted Leah and the others had been right about him.
When Leah found out about Charlotte and Matt, she began to soften towards Hunter, who she had found sleeping on the beach, and invited him to stay in a caravan. With Charlotte becoming more unstable, Zac admitted the truth about the supposed money from his godfather: he had taken out a loan without telling Leah and relied on Charlotte to bail him out. Leah learned VJ and Olivia had “borrowed” her car, resulting in it being damaged, and asked Zac to give “the talk” to VJ now he was showing an interest in girls. When Oscar punched Matt on learning he wanted Maddy, Leah assigned him cleaning duty as punishment. She also convinced Skye to trust John when she was worried about facing her mother. Alf convinced her and Zac to restore the wedding, which they had cancelled because of lack of funds, when they were contacted by the venue. She had both Hannah and Chris lobbying to join her bridal party when she needed a replacement for Marilyn and told Hannah to choose; she chose Chris.
Olivia called Leah when she found Irene in a state and Irene admitted to both of them that she was raped by her uncle while staying with him. When Olivia mentioned Irene had a bottle of vodka in the house, Leah quizzed her about it and Irene claimed she’d bought it for her hen night. However, Leah realised Irene was drinking again and found her with a cut hand. She used a blanket to put pressure on it, unaware of its significance, and caused Irene to attack her. Irene admitted she had fallen pregnant and the baby had been taken away from her; she had embroidered the blanket at an unmarried mothers’ home. Leah suggested she try to track the baby down but Irene rejected the idea. When the news of Denny’s death came, Leah and Zac considered postponing the wedding but were talked out of it by Evie. She married Zac in a ceremony outside the house despite Charlotte interrupting, and helped Irene when she had another relapse, prompting Irene to decide to track down her child. Back at the reception, she announced Ricky and Nate’s engagement before Kat announced that Charlotte had killed Denny. Leah was unable to stop Zac storming off but welcomed him back on his return.
They soon received the news that Charlotte had been killed and Leah was concerned when Zac hid the fact that Hunter had argued with her shortly before. She reluctantly gave evidence against Billie at the arson trial, only for Hunter to confess he was responsible. Leah refused to let him stay with them when he was bailed but did agree to him staying with Irene. She also responded to his call for help when Irene was questioned over Charlotte’s murder. She was the first person Evelyn confided in when she found a lump on her breast and supported her during the biopsy. She advised Oscar to be himself when he tried dressing up for orientation week. When VJ and Hunter got into a fight, Zac admitted he had forgiven Hunter, and with VJ going the same way Leah invited him to move back in. She then had to deal with Zac being accused of Charlotte’s murder and jailed on remand. Allowed to visit him before his transfer, she admitted she’d had doubts about his innocence but was now convinced. She found herself and her family the target of a hate campaign, which she tried to hide from the boys until she found them trying to hide graffiti on the toilet block from her. She then found the house vandalised. She agreed to give an interview to journalist Michelle Larter, only to find her words taken out of context in an inflammatory article. However, she was buoyed when the teens made her a special dinner at the Diner and Alf refused to let them move out.
Leah was disgusted when she saw Dylan kissing Kat, telling Kat that there was now no-one to help Zac. However, soon after, Morag’s team uncovered evidence that Zac had been at the caravan park at the time of the murder. He was released but was distant with her and she worried he hadn’t forgiven her for doubting him. She continued to blame Kat but Zac talked her out of taking action against the police. When she saw he had an injury, he claimed he had had a fall in prison and they had reunion sex. Kat then let slip that something else had happened in jail and Leah questioned Zac, who revealed he had been attacked and stabbed after alerting the guards to a planned riot and someone had saved him. She woke Zac from a nightmare, prompting him to grab her by the throat. Zac admitted that it was Tank who saved him and he wanted to help his get parole; Leah was not in favour and told Josh and Evelyn. When Evelyn objected, Leah told Zac to put his family first but withdrew her objection when Evelyn changed her mind. However, when Tank went to stay with Greg, Leah warned Greg that she’d report Tank if he stepped out of line. She wanted to do so when he turned up at Josh and Evelyn’s engagement party but Zac and Evelyn talked her out of it.
She and Zac were up at the house when the fundraiser at the caravan park was hit by an explosion and helped out in the aftermath, with Leah looking after a panicking Evelyn. She stopped Zac going for Tank when he told everyone he was responsible for the explosion, which had killed Oscar and Hannah, and together they talked Josh and Evelyn out of rushing into getting married. She, Alf and Roo were informed by Kat that Andy had confessed to being the one who really caused the explosion; worried about how Zac and Evelyn would react, she told Andy to keep quiet, then talked Zac out of going to confront him when he found out. She assured Roo that no-one blamed her when it was discovered that she hadn’t done the proper safety checks.
She upset VJ when she started bossing him about when he had Billie over and warned Billie that VJ had a crush on her. However, she then witnessed Bllie and VJ kissing on the beach and was shocked to realise they were dating and had slept together. She tried to tell both of them to end the relationship but both refused and she was forced to accept them and had Billie over for dinner to get to know her. When she found out Billie was pregnant, she was angry but again supported them, although she struggled to be fine with it when she found Billie had spent the night in VJ’s room. She had Billie over for lunch to ask the pair what plans they’d made about the baby, then invited Billie to move in, but withdrew the offer when Zac said they might break up. She went away for a while to look after Alex and on her return, she supported Irene after her kidnapping overdeal at the hands of Mick Jennings, and Evelyn after Josh confessed to Charlotte’s murder. She threw Brody Morgan out of the Diner when he criticised the cooking. She spoke to John after seeing Marilyn was upset, saying he was depriving her and children who needed help if he gave up fostering, and tried to lecture VJ when he failed an essay only to be shocked when he decided to move out. She was reassured by a visit from Billie but when Billie tried to set her and VJ up to discuss things it ended badly. However, not long after VJ was forced to move back in after accidentally throwing a party at the house.
Leah was willing to accept Billie moving in with VJ but Billie refused. She also made no objection to VJ dropping out of school, even though she hoped he’d change his mind, then after putting a word in for him with Billie she allowed the couple to move into a van with VJ staying at school. She began to feel the spark had gone from her marriage so went along to a fundraising sleepover at the school to try and seduce Zac in his office, only for him to fail to notice. When Zac finally twigged, he suggested champagne in bed. Leah tried to arrange a holiday for them but Zac was soon distracted with Evelyn’s problems when she started partying too hard.
Leah was self-conscious when VJ and Matt joked with her about being a grandma but after a talking to from Irene, Marilyn and Roo, and Matt buying her flowers as an apology, she embraced it and wore a t-shirt emblazoned with “yia-yia”. She accepted Duncan’s invite for her family to go on a plane trip to a vineyard he was organising for Tori’s birthday but Zac, who had just been appointed as principal, pulled out, saying he had to start work straight away. However, Leah found an e-mail indicating he didn’t start for three weeks. Zac told her he still had work to do before admitting he just didn’t want to take time off straight away. When the plane crashed, she managed to text Zac and VJ to let them know what was going on. She attempted to look after Billie in the aftermath and saved her when the plane caught fire before they were both rescued.
She was shocked when VJ and Billie decided to find out the sex of their baby and insisted she didn’t want to know, but was delighted when VJ let slip that it was a girl. She and Zac began to feel they were in a rut after an attempt at having dinner together fell flat. They realised they’d been living together most of the time they’d known each other so he decided to move out to the motel for a while to try and add some excitement. They arranged to meet at Salt for a romantic dinner and Roo convinced them to pretend it was their first meeting. She and Zac felt awkward after a romantic dinner, since the rules suggested they couldn’t spend the night together and felt awkward again after spontaneously having sex the next day. VJ and Billie left them with a romantic dinner and a talking stick after which they both admitted they wanted Zac to move back in. She convinced VJ and Billie to move into the house and dropped hints to Billie about using a traditional family name, prompting Billie to decide to use Leah’s name as a middle name.
Leah was confused when she heard Zac was going to Yabbie Creek to arrange a surprise for her and, like Zac, was worried when Hunter suddenly announced that he and Olivia were taking a gap year. She organised a surprise 18th birthday party for VJ and was pleased when he bought her flowers to apologise for missing their traditional breakfast. When Hunter was caught trying to buy a stolen exam paper, Leah blamed Zac for not helping him study. She was delighted to learn VJ and Billie were engaged and tried to organise celebratory drinks but they didn’t turn up after having a row. She was confused on learning Marilyn had seen Zac with another woman but, after a lot of pushing, Zac admitted he was writing a novel and Sam was his editor. Leah asked to meet Sam but was upset to learn Zac had told her their whole history. Zac agreed to try and write the book without Sam, but when Sam turned up at the house and told Leah that Zac had potential, Leah gave her blessing.
On Evelyn’s first birthday without Oscar, Leah went round with a cake since she didn’t want to celebrate. She later went along with Ash’s joke of putting VJ’s arms in plaster at his bucks party. When she finally got to read Zac’s book, she admitted she wasn’t impressed but suggested he go back to it one day. She was present at VJ and Billie’s wedding when Billie halted the service partway through. She accepted the explanation that they had rushed into it and took VJ off the city for a while to give them breathing space.
She stayed late in the city to help out her cousins and nearly missed her anniversary, arriving late to the dinner Zac had planned after suddenly remembering, then arranging a belated dinner the next day. She tried to enlist Ash’s help to get VJ and Billie to accept money from her parents, then found out that Irene’s son Mick had been released from the psychiatric hospital and stayed overnight with her.
VJ called her when Billie was in labour and she rushed to the hospital to meet her new granddaughter, Lucinda or Luc. She tried to give Hunter advice on what to do after leaving school against Zac’s wishes, causing an argument between them, which was exacerbated when she found out Bianca had tried to kiss Zac. She threw herself into her role as grandmother, buying a welcome home outfit for Luc. However, when Luc was kidnapped by Mick, Leah found out she wasn’t VJ’s but the result of Billie being raped by Mick. Leah did her best to support everyone and Luc was soon recovered. Leah had difficulty with the situation though, failing to give Luc a teddy bear saying “My yiayia loves me” and breaking down in tears when she looked after her for the night. When Zac questioned her, she admitted she was having trouble carrying on as normal, but when she realised Billie had overheard she blamed Zac.
She accepted Billie’s offer to be a guideparent at Luc’s blessing but after making a speech at the ceremony, she overheard Zac and Matt discussing the fact Sam was back in town. However, when Billie was rushed to hospital, she refused to talk to Zac. When the news arrived that Billie had terminal cancer, Leah attended the impromptu wedding between her and VJ at the hospital but when Zac tried to comfort her afterwards she just ranted at him. She continued to reject his support after Billie died and blamed him when Ash punched VJ, banning Ash from the house.
She helped VJ organise the funeral and took Luc home afterwards but continued to freeze out Zac when he tried to help her. Despite this, she was furious when he stayed away for the night, but after a talk with Irene she suggested they forget about it. Looking after Luc while VJ returned to school, she was less than receptive to help from Ash, criticising everything he did, until he angrily told her she was nothing to Luc. Irene and Ash convinced her to accept help but she was upset when Zac rented a caravan to Sam. Although Sam didn’t stay long, she told Leah her marriage was in trouble and Leah began to suspect Zac was hiding something, breaking down in tears when he went away to a conference.
She was unhappy when Irene started pushing to have Luc overnight and wasn’t keen when Hunter and Olivia planned to move in together but accepted Alf’s argument that they needed a dose of reality. She learned that VJ had lost his temper with Luc, prompting Irene to offer to have her permanently, which Leah opposed. Zac then returned and told her he’d slept with Sam. Leah refused to discuss it, throwing him out of the house for the night, and also told him not to tell VJ. She was unhappy to learn Matt had known but forgave him before he left town. When VJ lost his temper with Luc again, throwing a mug at a wall, she decided they needed to take Irene up on her offer. She confided in Irene about Zac’s infidelity, then went to stay with her parents.
On her return, she initially tried to forget about things and sleep with Zac but couldn’t go through with it and was soon back badgering him with questions about Sam before asking him to move out. She then learned Ash was applying for custody and also that Irene was. The resulting mediation was a disaster with Ash being awarded interim custody for six months. Zac tried to comfort her but she politely sent him away, then told him she couldn’t trust him and wanted a divorce. When Zac pointed out she was still wearing her wedding ring, she threw it away but Zac then asked her for one day to prove himself to her. Although she enjoyed their romantic meal, she still couldn’t get past Sam and gave him the ring back.
When she worked a shift at the Diner with Irene, she ended up arguing with and slapping her. She then went home to find Zac drunk on the roof, just before he fell off. She accompanied him to hospital where he recovered after surgery, and told him she still cared about him but they were better off as friends. She also apologised to Irene for hitting her but told her she couldn’t forgive her. She looked after Luc while Ash and Kat had their hands full with his brother Patrick but was upset at having to hand her back afterwards. Marilyn and a reluctant Roo set her and Irene up to have lunch together but she refused to forgive Irene and told Marilyn and Roo to focus on their own problems. She then slept with Zac, only to tell him it meant nothing. She argued with Irene again over catering for Phoebe and Justin’s going away party before promising to try and be less hostile.
She continued to push Zac away, resulting in a slanging match on the headland in which he told her they should go ahead with the divorce. When she overheard Irene mentioning things she’d said in confidence to Roo and noting she’d led Zac on by sleeping with him, she told her she wanted to sell her share of the Diner. She supported both Alf and Roo at the hospital when Roo had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and Alf had an angina attack, and made cup cakes for the hospital fundraiser John had organised but avoided the day so as not to see Zac. When Zac didn’t turn up for a meeting with their lawyers, she signed the divorce papers and coldly delivered them to him, telling him she didn’t care what his explanation was. Alf then told her that not only had Zac just found out that Hunter wasn’t his son but he was moving to Vietnam to be with Evelyn and Matt. Leah rushed to his caravan to find a farewell note. He ignored her calls but later returned for a farewell on the wharf.
She attempted to interrogate VJ when she learned he’d had a girl home and was furious when he told her he wasn’t going for custody of Luc, blaming Ash. Although Alf and Marilyn convinced her to accept the decision, she told Ash she’d never forgive him. She drowned her sorrows so Nate took her kayaking to cheer her up. When Nate decided to leave town not long after, the swiftness meant Leah was unable to organise a farewell party so she and Alf took him for a farewell meal at Salt. She gave VJ, Olivia and Hunter a lift back to town after Hunter blew out a car tyre, after which Hunter accused her of driving Zac away although he later apologised.
She rushed to the hospital on hearing Luc was ill and waited for news with Alf, Irene, VJ, Ash and Kat after it turned out she needed bowel surgery. When Irene offered to sell her share of the Diner, Leah decided they should both stay on. She picked up on the fact Tori had feelings for Ash. Irene told them that Mick wanted access to Luc. Despite her earlier stance, Leah talked VJ out of going for custody again, feeling they and Ash needed to show a united front, and agreed to the idea of Ash adopting Luc. She was immediately taken with Ben Astoni when he arrived in town until Maggie revealed he was her husband and remained awkward around Maggie afterwards.
She was annoyed when Ash and Kat broke up after their relationship had aided his custody case over Luc, but Alf convinced her to continue to support Ash. She also tried to cheer up Roo on her return. She learned that Hunter was the one who had robbed the Diner two years earlier but followed Marilyn’s lead in instantly forgiving him. She and Alf learned the pier where the Diner and bait shop were was up for sale and decided to buy it. However, they ended up being outbid by the Astonis. She found herself at odds with them again when they announced their intention to redevelop it, including take space from the Diner to open a beachwear boutique. She found out the Astonis’ daughter Coco had lied about her age in order to go out with VJ and interrupted the date to reveal she was only sixteen.
She was Tori’s confidante about her crush on Ash and tried to give Maggie advice about being school principal. When Ben attacked VJ mistakenly believing he was cracking onto Coco, Leah filled the family in on Coco’s actions. She was upset at continued plans for the pier, including building a restaurant, but accepted Maggie standing by Ben. She made a point of meeting Hunter’s biological father Wally Burns only for his wife Claire to accuse her of having an affair with him. Leah told her who Hunter was when Wally refused to. Nick Dutton, a customer in the Diner, asked her out but she turned him down. When she chatted to him again, she received another serve from Ben, who thought she was behind Nick blocking the redevelopment. She tried to talk Nick out of it, then helped Alf and Maggie with a plan to set up a surf shop for Ben.
She had to question VJ on Maggie’s behalf to find out if he was seeing Coco, then found Coco making herself sick and realised it was a regular occurence. Coco begged her not to tell her parents so Leah got Tori to talk to her and gave her her number, telling her to call her if she needed someone to talk to. However, she ended up having to tell Ben and Maggie the truth when Coco was taken into hospital, leaving them both annoyed with her for keeping quiet. It took Roo’s intervention to get Maggie talking to her again.
She tried to dissuade Irene from helping Mick when he was paroled. When he returned up in town, she arranged for Ash and Luc to hide at her place. She then learned Mick had had a DNA test done and agreed that Ash should take Luc away. Despite this, she convinced Hunter to take VJ out to celebrate the end of exams. When Ash decided he needed to stay in Summer Bay to support pregnant Kat, Leah was convinced to let VJ take Luc away instead, arranging for him to stay with family in Cyprus and saying a tearful farewell to him. Despite offering Ryder VJ’s room, it was mentioned soon after that Leah had followed VJ to Cyprus. She returned in time to help Hunter with his plan to propose to Olivia, providing him with video messages from herself and VJ, and commiserated with him when it failed.
While checking on Maggie at the hospital, she took an interest in Jasmine Delaney, who had been driving the other car in an accident where Kat was killed and who no-one was visiting. When Jasmine fled the hospital immediately after recovering, Leah found her and took her to the Diner. Jasmine admited her family was overseas and she was being stalked by David Cantrall, a man she met on the internet. Leah convinced her to go to the police and brought her to stay at the caravan park. When David turned up there, Leah tried to stall him by suggesting he and Jasmine stay for lunch but he ended up taking them and Ryder hostage. Leah managed to send an emergency message to Salt when ordering a pizza and they were rescued. Afterwards, she convinced Jasmine to stay in town.
When she learned Hunter was sleeping at the bait shop after his break-up with Olivia, she invited him to move back in with her and Alf. She also tried to order Olivia out of the Diner while Hunter was there but Irene and Hunter stopped her. She was the first to realise Alf and Roo were missing after the gas explosion at the school and acted as Hunter’s confidante when he started dating Jennifer Dutton. She aallowed Jennifer to move in after she had a falling out with her dad but insisted she and Hunter have separate rooms. When Alf caught Jennifer trying to seduce Hunter, she talked him out of throwing them out and attempted to contact Nick to take her home. She eventually managed to get the two of them reconciled.
She joined other residents in objecting to Robbo being released on bail and invited Ben to stay when he couldn’t be around Maggie because of a cold, also acting as Maggie’s confidante after her cancer spread. She encouraged Jasmine to pursue a relationship with Colby then found out from her that he used to be a River Boy but agreed to keep quiet. She was left running the singles night at Salt when Brody was called away.
While having a girls’ cocktail night with Marilyn, Roo, Olivia and Jasmine, Leah admitted she continued to feel aimless and began looking into starting an online forum for people to discuss their problems, enlisting Hunter to help her. She recorded a vlog to introduce her website, with Roo and Hunter convincing her to do a warm one. She was plagued by trolls but decided to soldier on after receiving a positive comment and Ryder secretly recorded her saying it was enough just to help one person and trolls didn’t have anything else in their life, posting it on her site. Although annoyed at the breach of privacy, she asked him to help her record a vlog on the subject.
She helped Maggie cope with her cancer, helping her pick out a wig to wear at Brody and Ziggy’s wedding, and asked to cover her in her vlog. She also covered Olivia making the wedding dress and helped Maggie with the wedding organisation. On witnessing Willow slapping Jasmine, she learned Willow had been stealing to fund a gambling addiction and advised her to own up to John, although this resulted in her being sacked. Shortly after, she announced she was going to see VJ and Luc in Cyprus.
She returned to find Hunter dating Christina Harrison and was concerned to learn she was his tutor. She tried to warn Christina off, prompting Hunter to tell her to stay out of it, to which she reluctantly agreed. Her protective streak kicked in again when she learned Christina was married and had had Hunter dropped from a placement to cover up their fling. She convinced Hunter to make a complaint and was pleased when Christina was sacked only for Hunter to announce he was dropping out of uni. She tried to find another uni for Hunter but he instead announced he was going to live with Zac in Vietnam. She was initially upset but cleared the air before he left and admitted she was going to miss him.
She acted as Tori’s confidante during her surrogacy plans and learned about her low ovarian count. When she learned Tori was trying to arrange her own donor, she suggested asking someone she knew but was shocked when Tori revealed she’d asked Robbo to be a donor, although she continued to support her. She kept Tori’s confidence when Jasmine saw her with Robbo and assumed they were a couple but told Tori about Jasmine’s feelings for Robbo. She tried to help Alf look after an increasingly depressed and irritable Ryder but their attempts to give him purpose were rejected. She was left looking after Ryder on her own when Alf had to fly out to the States for Caroline’s funeral and struggled to deal with his resentment. She was one of the first to realise that Ryder, Raffy and Coco were all missing and suspected that Dean, who had told Ryder about an old River Boy hideout, knew something. She was left supporting Ryder when Raffy was hospitalised as a result of an accident at the hideout.
Ziggy convinced her to get Brody to do a cooking segment for the vlog and she got him to agree to her using footage of him talking about Raffy being in hospital. A few weeks later, she convinced Brody to do another video updating people on her progress but this backfired when Raffy became upset at them announcing she had epilepsy online. She took a special interest in Mason when she saw him suffering from exam stress. She again misjudged things when she tried to advertise the cancer fundraiser with posters with Maggie’s face on them and to get her to tell of her experience with cancer for her vlog. However, Maggie then enlisted her to help make a compilation of other cancer survivors’ stories. She was bemused when Justin drunkenly tried to chat her up at Salt, telling him the next day that they should forget about it. She helped Tori through the aftermath of her miscarriage and advised Mason over him failing to get an internship. Justin asked her to talk to Tori when she had the second embryo implanted behind Robbo’s back and Leah tried to convince her to tell him. She saw Justin upset about his break-up with Willow and told Tori. She was the first person Tori told she was pregnant.
She and Justin found themselves in the role of Tori’s confidantes as they tried to convince her to tell Robbo. She was bemused to find Martha was staying with them after reconnecting with Alf and took part in a charity marathon. On learning Tori had also got Jasmine to keep her secret, she and Justin convinced her she needed to be honest. She tried to convince Robbo that he couldn’t ignore the baby but this only resulted in Robbo leaving town. She also convinced Alf to ask Martha to stay. She unsuccessfully tried to calm things between Irene and Tori when they argued at the Diner.
Justin confided in her that he had kept quiet about Brody cheating on Ziggy with Simone. She was present when Justin was rejected by Ben and ended up sleeping with him. After she teased him about them being in a relationship, they decided on a friends with benefits arrangement and began looking for ways to be alone, encouraging Ryder to spend time with Raffy away from Leah’s house. They were caught out by Roo after missing the message that she was coming home and Leah explained the situation to her. She then wrote a blog extolling the virtues of no-strings sex only to find it upset Justin to be talked about like that. She made things awkward when she refused to go along with Justin’s idea of going to a motel but made things up by surprising him in bed. She was given movie tickets as part of her blog and Roo tried to convince her to take Justin but she refused, saying it would blur the lines. Justin called her over to his and she assumed it was for another liaison rather than a chat, with them realising their arrangement was getting in the way of their friendship. Justin said they should either be a proper couple or go back to being just friends. Despite being unhappy with being forced into a choice, Leah eventually decided they should be together and kissed him in front of everyone in the Diner.
They had their first official date at Salt and, when she challenged him to surprise her, he gave her her first surfing lesson in nearly twenty years in the Bay. She defended Mason on finding out he had been giving cannabis oil to Raffy, prompting Tori to tell her to stay out of family business. Justin sent her away from the hospital when Raffy had a seizure and Leah was reluctant to go against him by supporting Mason in her blog but Justin eventually told her he agreed with her. After witnessing the continued tension between Justin and Ben, she and Maggie decided to help them make up and arranged for them to have a beer together. She overheard Mason planning to buy more cannabis and failed to talk him out of it so resorted to telling Justin. She went away to visit family in the city, where she ended up telling them about Justin. On her return, she asked to meet Ava and after initially being taken aback Justin agreed. She advised Maggie over Ben’s struggles to meet an order deadline, recalling her own struggles during her early days at the Diner.
Her meeting with Ava initially went badly, with Ava wanting little to do with her and saying she wouldn’t be around for long. Leah briefly made a breakthrough with her by arranging a tie dye activity but Ava was left unhappy again when she stumbled across Leah and Justin kissing. They and Tori attempted to cheer her up over a lunch and Justin told Leah that Ava’s mother Nina was breaking up with her husband Brian. They won her over with a game of football and suggest she visit more often. Leah tried to help Tori pick an outfit for Robbo and Jasmine’s wedding and was left supporting Justin when Tori was taken into protective custody.
She was called to the police station to support Irene when she confessed to assaulting Tommy O’Reilly, who she had caught attempting to rape Bella, and was frustrated to overhear people gossiping about it. Justin had to talk her out of posting online about it but she did tip off the newspapers to look further into the case, resulting in them learning of Tommy being charged. However, she struggled to cheer up Irene, who had become a virtual recluse. Eventually, she convinced her to make a statement to the police about her abuse and then post a video talking about it online. She supported Justin when Raffy’s CBD trial was cancelled and convinced him to campaign for the legislation of medical cannabis. She tried to drum up public support for Irene through her support group and decided to post their stories on her vlog. Irene told her Tommy was threatening to sue her and wanted to sign over her share of the Diner so it would be safe but Leah refused, thinking it would look like she was giving up on her. She showed Irene the positive comments on her blog but then someone posted a link about Irene’s arrest. She supported Irene in court and got a member of her support group, Teresa Masterson, to lead a protest supporting her, although she was shocked when members of the group start making extremist posts on her vlog advocating vigilante action. Irene was given a good behaviour bond, which left her open to being sued. Unwilling to let her sell her house to offer Tommy a settlement, Leah convinced her to ask her support group for help but was concerned when Teresa turned up insisting Tommy be stopped at all costs. Leah blocked Teresa from commenting on her vlog but posted a speech demanding criminals not be allowed to profit from their crimes. When Teresa promptly murdered Tommy, Leah was unable to be certain that her videos hadn’t influenced her and closed the blog down.
She helped out Justin when Ava came to stay and decided to move in with them. The three of them went on a camping trip together where Ava’s mood began to improve. When Tori ended up on life support in the city after a stroke, Leah went there to support Justin, leaving Ava with Mason. On their return, she tried to keep Justin calm as he objected to Robbo looking after his and Tori’s daughter Grace. She convinced him to take Ava to see Brody and Raffy and was surprised at how much she missed him. She planned to ask to move in permanently when he returned, especially with Martha moving in with Alf, but changed her mind when he returned without Ava, upset that she’d gone back to Nina. However, Justin then asked her to move in and she happily accepted. She continued to support him over Tori, convincing Robbo to let him babysit Grace. When he was concerned about going to a meeting at the hospital about her, Leah refused to let Mason talk to him about it. However, despite supporting Justin over the treatment, she advised him not to fall out with Mason. She supported him when Tori was transferred to Northern Districts but stayed away during an attempt to bring her round. She then received a mysterious phone call and abruptly left John and Marilyn’s anniversary dinner. The following day, it became clear no-one had seen her since and she had vanished without a trace.
Leah was gone for six weeks, being held prisoner by Douglas Maynard, an anti-feminist who blamed her blog for his wife leaving him. He forced her to act as though they were in a relationship and wait on him, being violent when she displeased him, and had her post an announcement online that she was getting married and ring Justin with a scripted message that she didn’t want to see him again. When Douglas revealed he planned for them to get married at the house among some likeminded friends, Leah was terrified he would try and consummate the marriage so hit him and fled, being found by Justin and taken back to Summer Bay. She had a hard time adjusting, still following the same patterns of making sure the table was set exactly right. She refused to discuss what had happened with Justin or the police and soon wanted to return home when Irene tried to take her to the Diner. However, when she learned Colby had been injured arresting Douglas and he couldn’t be charged without her statement, she related to the police with Justin present how he had lured her to the hospital claiming his wife was ill and then forced her to drive to his house, using violence to keep her in line.
Justin convinced her to go out and about to the Diner and the garage, which prompted her to realise she hadn’t seen Mason since her return. Justin told her how he and Robbo had both been killed in her absence. She tried to go to Ben’s birthday party but panicked when she tried to get ready. She rallied enough to spend time at the Diner but an overprotective Justin insisted she come home with him, prompting her to accuse him of being like Douglas and spend the night at Irene’s. She quickly realised she had been unfair and apologised but also made it clear she had to decide what she was ready for. She accompanied Justin and Tori to bury Mason’s ashes alongside their parents, comforting Justin, and helped him turn Mason’s old room into a nursery for Grace. Irene approached her about working at the Diner and she started back there on the same day she’d decided against giving a victim impact statement for Douglas’ sentencing. However, when she lost her temper with a customer who complained that his order was wrong, she decided to give the statement after all. She told the service representative that she felt afraid all the time and was reluctant to accept affection.
After fighting hard to get a set of family photos for Grace’s nursery, Leah felt able to spend the night in the same bed as Justin and received the further news that Douglas had been sentenced to 25 years. On hearing the news that Maggie had slept with Ben’s brother twenty years earlier, she ended up arguing with Justin when he didn’t immediately condemn Maggie, but ironically it led to them sleeping together again. She was soon back at work full-time and using doing the rosters as an excuse to sneak away for a liaison with Justin. When Justin asked to speak to her, Irene suggested he was going to propose. A panicked Leah told Justin she didn’t want to get married again only for him to reveal he was just after advice on expanding the garage: She confirmed she was committed to the relationship. She was mostly on the fence as Tori and Justin debated letting Jasmine look after Grace.
She was closing up at the Diner when she disturbed a robber who knocked her over while fleeing and was found by Justin in a state of shock, reverting to sleeping alone for a short while. She helped Colby take fingerprints of everyone with access to the till and was soon able to return to work, where she advised Maggie over trying to fix her marriage. She learned Colby suspected the Paratas of the robbery although his plans for a line-up fell through.
She and Alf organised a farewell lunch for Ben and Maggie when they left town. Although she agreed with Tori taking out a restraining order against an increasingly erratic Jasmine, she nevertheless worried about Jasmine when she left town and made Justin sleep on the sofa when he was unsympathetic. She later rushed to Justin’s side when he was taken to hospital with chemical burns and back spasms and supported him when it turned out he had a tumour on his spine, although she disagreed with him refusing surgery and insisted on keeping an eye on him. She went with him to visit Ava and helped him explain the situation to her. She supported Justin when he ended up gaving surgery and was the one to find he had unthinkingly left Grace with Jasmine. She encouraged Tori to pursue a relationship with Christian Green, Justin’s surgeon.
Justin confided in her that his symptoms had returned and she helped hide it from Tori while Christian examined him. When it turned out Justin’s tumour had grown and he needed radiotherapy to shrink it, Leah took time off work to drive him to his appointment but he told her not to treat him like an invalid. She and Justin made themselves scarce when Tori had Christian stay over for the first time and Leah later looked after Justin when he returned from a treatment session badly drained, insisting he go to hospital when he was in pain. She was again left waiting for him to complete surgery after the tumour had to be removed but he was soon well enough to return home. She advised Tori over Christian moving to the Bay and helped Justin arrange a scan to see if he could go back to work.
She was concerned when Justin reacted to Tori and Christian getting engaged by saying marriage was important, feeling he didn’t value what they had, but he convinced her all that mattered was that they were committed to each other. She persuaded him to organise a surprise engagement party for Tori and Christian, which they had to arrange at Salt in a rush. They decided to get their own place and enlisted the aid of realtor Susie McAllister. They were approved for a mortgage and found their dream home, deciding to put an offer in. The offer was accepted but the bank changed their minds about the loan. Susie offered to arrange a private loan, which Justin convinced Leah to agree to, putting all their savings on it. When the estage agent reported the house had been sold to someone else, Leah ignored Irene’s warnings that Susie was a crook and waited for her to provide an explanation, until it became clear Susie had skipped town with their savings.
After initially trying to ignore the matter and instead focus on helping Alf and Roo sort out Susie’s theft of the surf club sponsorship money, Leah ended up blaming Justin for insisting they go through with the sale. This resulted in Justin going surfing in a huff and nearly drowning, after which they agreed to support each other. Leah became determined to hunt Susie down, joining an online forum for the victims of scams and chasing up leads on Susie’s aliases. She learned Justin had taken a double dose of painkillers to try and be fit for the surf carnival but didn’t realise it was a regular occurrence. She convinced John to join her in checking out a lead but was left frustrated when he gave up on not finding anything, as well as a lack of support from Justin. When Justin began overreacting to her crusade, she discovered he had been taking extra painkillers and tried to get him to reduce them. She befriended Stephen Tennyson, another victim, and tricked John into meeting him, then set up a crowdfunding page to help hire a private detective. When John received a text, apparently from Susie, it was agreed that he would arrange to meet her with Leah and Stephen waiting nearby. However, she didn’t show up. Justin told her his tumour might be back, then she discovered he had stockpiled different types of painkiller and began to realise he was addicted to his pain medication. She tried to control his supply but he kept finding ways around her and she found him collapsed at the garage. Searching the garage, she and Alf found pills he had ordered online, to which he had had a reaction. When Justin disappeared from hospital, Leah had to talk him into returning.
She was put in charge of Justin’s pain medication and ended up having to shut herself in her room as he begged her to give him more, then was summoned to the garage by Ziggy when she found some pills Justin had delivered there. She apologised to Stephen after a jealous Justin beat him up and was the first to learn a body had been found in the water, which turned out to be Susie, resulting in her being interviewed by the police. Still clashing with Justin, she spent the night at Irene’s and decided to move out but Tori told Justin to go instead. She was uncomfortable with Justin visiting the house, getting Stephen to change the locks. However, she gently rebuffed Stephen when he tried to kiss her, saying she was still committed to Justin. Justin then came to the house worried he was the hit and run driver that killed Rachel Young, since he’d been having blackouts from the drug taking: It turned out he wasn’t, but the experience shocked him into admitting he was an addict. Leah had a hard time dealing with his withdrawals, walking out of the house and spending the night on the beach, and told him she couldn’t go through it again.
Stephen told her the police suspected Justin of Susie’s murder and she wondered if he might have done it, recalling his blackouts and mood swings. She refused to see him when he recovered from his withdrawals and instead went to see Stephen, but had a shock when she found Susie’s laptop, the phone used to text John and a bag of cash in his room. She sent a text to John and Stephen admitted he had tried to capture Susie only for her to fall and hit her head. Leah convinced him to turn himself in, although in the end Cash found him while they were on their way to the police station. She felt uncomfortable about doubting Justin but he forgave her. However, Leah had taken the money from Stephen’s room and admitted as much to Justin. Even though there was a chance they wouldn’t get it back, Justin insisted they had to tell the police. They reported it to Cash, who agreed to keep quiet about where he found it. She kissed Justin but then backed off. However, after they spent the day together and slept together, she agreed to him moving back in.
She helped Justin with preparations for Christian’s plan to propose to Tori again, including writing a song with him, and they ended up inheriting the romantic dinner when Christian and Tori were called into hospital. They heard the garage was being sold and learned John had bought it, with Leah having to play peacemaker between the two men. She and Justin learned they were being refunded the money and Leah again had to get Justin to accept John as landlord after an attempt to gazump him failed. She noticed ingredients were going missing from the Diner and she and Justin caught Ryder and Chloe using it after hours for their delivery business. She agreed to them leasing it in exchange for a percentage of the profits and paying for what they’d used.
She welcomed her nephew Theo when he turned up, saying Dimitri had kicked him out. He claimed that they fell out while working together but Leah checked and learned he had been ripping off customers at Dimitri’s garage by selling them fake insurance. Theo drove off and Leah fretted that he’d disappeared. He turned up injured a few days later, saying he had fought off two guys trying to steal his car. Justin revealed the truth – that he had been beaten up by victims of his scam – and Leah decided to put him up in a motel to stop anyone coming to the house looking for him. She also convinced him to take a job with Justin. Leah and Justin were left alone when Tori and Christian left.
Leah refused to accept Theo was in the wrong when he and Ryder had a falling out and wanted him to move in with her and Justin, but eventually agreed to give Justin time to get used to his family being gone. She was therefore put-out that he wanted to redecorate a room for Ava. She suffered mild effects of organophosphate poisoning at the Salt fundraiser and convinced Justin to let Theo move in. While she initially gave him the benefit of the doubt, she recognised that he’d been slacking off from work and leaving a mess. She convinced him Justin was trying to help him and smoothed things over between them when Theo innocently asked about throwing out Mason’s things. She was concerned about Ryder and Theo’s online challenges, thinking they could haunt Theo in the future. She did her best to look after Marilyn when she showed the psychological effects of the poisoning and invited her to move in, but immediately after had to go and look after VJ and Luc in Cyprus after he ended up in hospital.
When she returned to Australia, she immediately went to see Dimitri to try and build bridges between him and Theo but he wasn’t interested, making it a shock when he turned up in Summer Bay shortly after she returned there looking to do exactly that. Leah quickly learned he and his wife Cassandra had split up and then witnessed Theo hitting him during an argument. She learned from John that Dimitri had been beating Theo and angrily confronted her brother before taking Theo to see Cassandra for a few days. When Dimitri came close to winning Theo over, Leah got him to admit he was just saying what he needed to in order to get Theo home. She and Theo then found Justin unconscious at the garage after being assaulted by Dimitri. Leah reported it to the police which convinced Theo to press charges as well. Having been released on bail, Dimitri told Leah to look after Theo before leaving town.
She was impressed when Justin gifted Theo a guitar to replace one Dimitri had smashed, and she and Marilyn arranged a special lunch for Roo, Martha and their family and friends before their transplant surgery. She and Justin were the ones who discovered the body of PK King. On learning Theo and Chloe were a couple, she invited Chloe round to dinner and then pestered her about her intentions, taking the credit when Chloe committed herself to Theo. She and Justin were concerned about Chloe spending all her time at the house but Leah didn’t feel able to say anything when Chloe bought them presents and cooked dinner. She and Justin asked Theo to have a word but Justin ended up blurting out to Chloe that Leah didn’t want her there all the time. Unhappy about the way he put it, she told Justin to sleep on the couch only for him to instead go and stay with John. It took Chloe and Theo to get the pair to make up. She tried to talk Chloe into going to business school and helped her work out how to do the gym accounts. When Justin admitted to doing Theo’s assignment for him, she insisted Justin report it to the uni only for Theo to reveal he had redone it. Leah was left feeling guilty when Justin had his accreditation suspended, meaning he couldn’t mentor Theo. She was relieved when Ziggy agreed to step in as Theo’s mentor.
She agreed to Justin’s suggestion to use their money to market the garage but was unimpressed when his plan turned out to be to buy a new van for Lyrik, a band that Theo had joined, and have the garage sponsor it. However, when he explained about seeing it as a chance to fulfill the dreams he had missed out on while in witness protection, she supported him. She considered inviting Lyrik over for dinner but Justin talked her out of it. Leah supported Justin when he became Lyrik’s manager and gave him tips on negotiating. She suggested he try to renegotiate the deal with Mackenzie for the gigs at Salt, only for it to result in Mackenzie cancelled all the gigs until they finally struck a deal.
She became aware of Marilyn’s odd behaviour towards Roo’s student Heather Frazer and tried to stage an intervention with Roo. Marilyn admitted to her that she had had a daughter when she was 25 and left her with the father and his wife. After confirming Heather was the daughter, Marilyn started getting to know her in secret. Leah tried to get Marilyn to tell people, but also suspected Heather of manipulating her. She confronted Heather, only for her house to be vandalised. She told Rose she suspected Heather and confided in Justin only to find Heather gone, prompting Marilyn to accuse her of driving her away. She was summoned to an apology dinner along with Alf, Irene and Roo only for them all to be drugged and held hostage by Heather, who forced Marilyn to admit the truth. They were eventually rescued by Cash and Rose.
Leah let slip to Rose about Xander being on a date with Stacey. She refused to have anything to do with Justin entering the charity golf tournament Roo and Marilyn had organised and was infuriated to discover that not only had he made a bet with John where the loser had to donate $1000 to the charity but he had been disqualified for cheating. She forced him to sleep on the couch but softened after he offered to help find Ziggy a car to replace the lost prize and volunteer at the soup kitchen.. She advised Theo over his concerns about marriage and became obsessed with making the perfect wedding cake for Felicity and Tane, leaving the wedding before the service started to fix it when there was a mishap.