Doing the right thing gets Ryder Jackson (Lukas Radovich) into a whole lot of trouble this week, when he finds himself hauled into the police station facing serious charges!
Having turned a blind-eye to new girlfriend Jade’s (Mia Morrissey) theft of $50 from Salt last week, after hearing what he thought to be a convincing sob story, Ryder is incensed when he spots her doing the same thing once again.
Dragging her into the storeroom, Ryder demands an explanation—he helped her out with the rent on her caravan, so why would she need to steal?
Jade is wholly unrepentant this time though and can’t see why Ryder is making a big deal out of it, it’s only $30.
Ryder than gives Jade an ultimatum, either she tell boss Mackenzie what she’s been up to, or he will.
The next day as the two talk with Mackenzie, Jade refuses to own up—and is shocked when Ryder keeps to his word and tells Mackenzie that Jade has been stealing from her. As Mackenzie heads off to fetch Colby, Jade tells Ryder that he’s going to regret what he’s just done.
“She’s so angry,” Mia told New Idea. “She thought she had so much power over Ryder, and all of a sudden he’s choosing morality over his girlfriend. She feels totally betrayed – and she wants Ryder to pay.”
After being hauled off to the police station, Jade returns to Summer Bay and meets up with Ryder to tearfully apologise, and everything is apparently forgotten as Jade leads him back to her van once again.
But unbeknownst to Ryder, Jade secretly sets up her phone to record them having sex.
Later that afternoon, Colby returns to Salt where he tells Ryder that he needs to come with him to the police station right now.
There, a shocked Ryder and his Aunt Roo are informed that Ryder is facing serious charges, having been accused of uploading his and Jade’s sex tape to the internet without her consent!
Ryder denies all knowledge, but it doesn’t look as Colby tells Ryder that he’ll be needing a lawyer…
Elsewhere, Summer Bay residents are stunned this week when they come to the realisation that Leah Patterson (Ada Nicodemou) is missing!
Leah was last seen on-screen at the lunch Martha threw at Summer Bay House, as she awaited a call from Justin to hear whether Tori had come out of her coma.
As Leah excused herself to check her phone, Irene went to see if she was OK and she explained that she wanted to be there for Justin—she’d never been in love like this before and wanted to be by his side no matter what happens.
Just then, the phone rang, and with Leah assuming it was Justin ringing from the hospital with no Caller ID, Irene left her to take the call.
The last moment we saw Leah was her looking confused as she asked “Who is this?“.
This week we rejoin the end of the get together as everyone assumes Leah had to rush off to see Justin and think nothing of it.
The next day Irene is puzzled to have not heard anything from Leah, and as she asks around it’s clear that no-one has seen her for nearly 24 hours. She didn’t call in to say she wasn’t coming into work, and it soon becomes apparent that she didn’t go to the hospital as everyone had assumed.
Irene continues to make calls to Leah’s family and friends but no-one has heard from her or seen her. Eventually that evening when Justin returns from the hospital, Irene is forced to tell him that Leah is missing.
“There’s no message from Leah and no leads,” James Stewart told New Idea. “Justin doesn’t know whether to fear the worst, or to think that perhaps Leah might just have gone cold on him and taken time out from their relationship and the Bay.”
The next day, with 48 hours gone, Irene and Justin head to the police station where Colby officially files a missing persons report…
Leah is set to be absent from UK screens for at least the next couple of months, with Ada Nicodemou taking time off last year to have an extended break with partner Adam and son Johnas in Greece.
Here’s a full rundown and video slideshow of this week’s episode spoilers:
Monday 24th February
Tori wakes from her coma, but will she be her usual self? Jasmine and Robbo are filled with despair over losing Grace. Irene is concerned about Leah, who isn’t answering her calls.
Tuesday 25th February
Jasmine and Robbo struggle with the idea of losing Grace as Tori tries to connect with her baby. Irene’s fear builds when she suspects Leah is missing.
Wednesday 26th February
Mackenzie tries to stop a miserable and booze-fuelled Dean from self-sabotaging. Ziggy is throwing herself into the pit crew gig, but is clearly still hurting. Justin and Irene report Leah as missing.
Thursday 27th February
Ziggy and Dean struggle with the break-up in very different ways. Ryder learns Jade is up to her old tricks but she’s unrepentant. Mackenzie fails to make Colby see that Bella is playing him.
Friday 28th February
Colby questions whether or not Bella is manipulating him. Ryder’s convictions falter at the worst time. Martha sees how much her disappearance affected Alf. A grim delivery arrives for Robbo.