Dimitri Poulos

Dimitri Poulos (2003; 2005; 2022)
Salvatore Coco
Episodes: 35083513; 3589; 39963997; 77647777

Parents: Theo & Helen Poulos
Siblings: Leah Patterson, Chris & Alex Poulos
Spouse: Cassandra Poulos* (separated)
Children: Theo Poulos**

Occupation: Restaurant manager; Car dealership owner

Dimitri is the oldest of the Poulos siblings. He first visited Summer Bay for his youngest brother Alex’s 21st birthday, driving his parents gift to Alex up from the city. His wife, childhood sweetheart Cassandra, remained at home as she was due to give birth to the couple’s third child any day. Alex was somewhat resentful towards Dimitri, feeling that their parents had always looked upon him as the perfect son and considered him better than Alex. Dimitri helped organise Alex’s party at the surf club, spending more time snapping at the staff than acknowledging Alex’s greeting and attempt to introduce him to his new girlfriend Amber, and insisted Alex keep up with the family traditions, chiding him for drinking. He presented him with a keyring to go with the car Helen and Theo had bought him, the traditional family present on a 21st birthday. When Leah admitted to her family that she was dating Jesse, none of them were happy and Dimitri and his parents angrily blamed Alex for doing nothing to stop it and not informing them. Taking his frustration out on his older brother, Alex began pushing Dimitri and during the scuffle their father Theo collapsed with a mild heart attack. The fact that he instinctively asked for Dimitri only served to fuel Alex’s resentment.

While Theo recovered in hospital, Dimitri confronted Alex about his hostility. He argued that, as the eldest, he had always had to be the responsible one while his younger siblings were allowed to mess up. He said he’d always had to live up to Theo’s image of what a son should be like and had gone along with giving Alex the keyring because it was what was expected of him. He then presented Alex with the present he’d chosen himself: A signed Manchester United football shirt. Alex was delighted, saying it was the best present he’d had, and the two brothers were reconciled. Dimitri became more relaxed after the discussion, sharing a joke with Leah and Sally when he dropped around to say goodbye and helping Alex sell the car, which he had told his parents he didn’t want.

Dimitri was next seen with Theo and his other brother Chris when they went to wave Leah off at the airport, as she prepared to travel to the States for an operation that would give VJ his hearing. As Leah was about to go, she realised to her horror she had forgotten their passports and tickets and there was no time to go home for them. At that moment, Jesse arrived with the tickets and Leah, delighted, kissed him in front of her family, who had been unaware the pair had reconciled after breaking up during their previous visit, before hurrying off to her flight. The three Poulos men glared at Jesse for a few seconds before relaxing into smiles and inviting him to have coffee with them.

Dimitri’s last visit to Summer Bay to date was for Leah’s wedding to Dan in 2005. He arrived in town with his parents and Chris to find Leah in a panic and insisting the wedding would have to be cancelled, since they had no venue or minister. Dimitri and the others joined Dan’s brother Peter in rushing to organise a new wedding with only a few hours notice. He was last seen at the wedding reception, sitting near his family at a table with Scott, Jesse and Chloe while Dan serenaded Leah.

Dimitri came to attention again towards the end of 2021, when his son Theo came to live with Leah and her boyfriend Justin. After speaking to Dimitri on the phone, Leah learned that Theo had been working for him at his car dealership and had been scamming customers by selling them fake insurance. Dimitri had thrown him out and wanted nothing more to do with him.

The following year, Leah went to see Dimitri and his wife Cassandra to try and build bridges between father and son, but Dimitri remained adamant that he didn’t want to see Theo. Leah remained unaware of the real reason for the estrangement: Dimitri had been repeatedly beating Theo ever since he was fourteen.

Soon after, Dimitri turned up in Summer Bay, having changed his mind. He was abrupt with Leah and Justin, only being interested in seeing Theo. When they were alone together, the reason for Dimitri’s change of heart came out: Cassandra had walked out on him after Leah’s visit, leaving him desperate to get the family back together. He was unimpressed by the fact Theo was doing community service and dismissive of him being Justin’s apprentice at the garage. When John was cold towards him, Dimitri realised Theo had been talking to him and accused Theo of badmouthing him, shoving him and prompting Theo to punch him. The following morning, having been clued in by John, Leah confronted Dimitri about his treatment of Theo but he refused to discuss it and walked away.

Dimitri lay low with Leah and Theo out of town, avoiding his parents’ attempts to contact him, then turned up at the house and lost his temper with Theo, only leaving when Ryder interrupted them. Theo met with him at Salt, where he said that he wanted the best for Theo and was trying to encourage him to make something of himself, with the conversation leading Theo to believe he might have changed. However, when Leah refused to let Dimitri into the house, Theo overheard him threatening her and realised it had all been an act, telling his father that Leah and Justin were his family now. Dimitri went round to confront Justin at the garage where Justin told him to stay away from his family. Dimitri punched him, leaving him unconscious and resulting in him being hospitalised with concussion.

Increasingly agitated, Dimitri made a ranting phone call to Cassandra accusing her of abandoning their family and tried to get Theo to leave town with him. He was seen by Cash trying to force Theo into the car and they were both taken to the police station. Theo refused to talk but Leah reported Dimitri for assaulting Justin. Dimitri tried to pass it off as self-defence, saying he had never done anything like that before, prompting Theo to say he had done it to him, making a statement. Dimitri was charged with assault and child abuse, which he initially tried to dismiss. Cash showed him the video of Theo’s interview, in which he described the injuries he’d received and talked about how he’d never been good enough, leaving Dimitri shaken. Next morning, having been released on bail, Dimitri went to see Leah, Justin and Theo. He explained his lawyer said he would probably get a good behaviour bond and have to attend anger management. He said he didn’t mean to put Justin in hospital and had wanted what was best for Theo, before saying his goodbyes and telling Leah to look after Theo.

*During Dimitri’s early stints, his wife was named as Melinda. In 2022, this was changed to Cassandra.

**On his first appearance in 2003, Dimitri said he and his wife were expecting their third child, but there’s been no mention of Theo having siblings.