Coming up on Home and Away in Australia, Irene heads to court, facing the prospect of seven years in prison… will she be found guilty?
Irene (Lynne McGranger) finally has her day in court in upcoming episodes, as she faces a potential jail term for harbouring wanted fugitive Dana Matheson (Ally Harris).
Irene wasn’t even aware of Dana’s presence in her home at first. Dana’s sister Harper (Jessica Redmayne) had come to the bay seeking old friend Cash’s (Nicholas Cartwright) assistance with Dana’s case, and had answered Irene’s ad for a lodger.
After Harper moved into the downstairs bedroom, it was only then that we realised that Dana was with her, as she was snuck through the window to share the bed.
Irene heading away to visit her granddaughter took the heat off the siblings for a while, until Cash discovered Dana whilst making an unannounced visit. Although Cash’s immediate response was to order Dana to accompany him to the station, she managed to convince him that doing so would be throwing her to the wolves.
Indeed as Cash further investigated, it became apparent that Dana had been set up by her ex-boyfriend Olly and corrupt city detective Will Madden (Jonny Pasvolsky).
When Irene later returned home and realised that there was someone hiding in Harper’s bedroom, the girls told Irene the whole story. She talked things over with Cash, who confirmed Dana’s innocence, and Irene agreed to help them, despite being warned what it could lead to.
As Madden piled on the heat and threatened to arrest Harper, Dana gave herself up, only for Madden and his sidekick Fletcher (James Biasetto) to hold her captive in an abandoned barn, claiming she’d escaped en-route to the station.
Madden attempted to kill Dana by injecting her with the very drug she was accused of stealing, but she was saved in the nick of time and rushed to hospital. When she later came to, she confirmed what Madden had done and he was arrested.
All charges against Dana were subsequently dropped, but Cash was later suspended pending an investigation. Harper and Irene had initially thought the authorities wouldn’t be coming after them, but were proved wrong two weeks ago when Rose (Kirsty Marillier) was forced to arrest them both for hindering a police investigation, and harbouring a fugitive.
Cash has been fuming at the injustice of it all, given they were all helping an innocent woman framed by police corruption, and couldn’t understand why the police were taking the stance they were. Cash has even discussed quitting the force altogether as a result.
When Harper met with her lawyer, they advised her to keep her distance from Irene, given that she has an existing criminal record.
Irene was charged with grievous bodily harm back in 2019 when she attacked Tommy O’Reilly, after she walked in on him trying to sexually assault Bella (Courtney Miller). Irene was placed on a good behaviour bond.
Incidentally, Irene also has a prior conviction for stealing from her employer back in 1985, a time when she was an abusive alcoholic, but this hasn’t been mentioned.
“The thought of going back to jail would be too much to bear,” Lynne McGranger told TV Week. “The last time she was in jail she ended up back on the alcohol again.”
For those that don’t remember, Irene spent several weeks in prison back in 2009, when she was accused of murdering her partner Lou De Bono (David Roberts) whilst on a sailing trip.
Convinced of Irene’s guilt, and hearing that Irene was named as a beneficiary in Lou’s will, his estranged wife Donna (Suzie McKenzie) paid a prison officer to supply Irene with booze to further destroy her credibility.
Irene was released after they found evidence that a third person was on the boat, and it was eventually revealed that Lou had been killed following an altercation with people smugglers Derrick Quaid (John Atkinson) and Hugo Austin (Bernard Curry) when he came across their boat.
Much to her good friend John’s (Shane Withington) concern, Irene has been putting off visiting her lawyer Greta Hunt (Amanda McGregor), feeling that she would only tell her what she already knew, that she’d be heading back to prison.
Back to the present, Irene arrives at the court for her hearing where she is met by Greta, who informs her that the judge is one who is a stickler for the rules. It’s no doubt going to be a tough fight, not helped by the prosecution who are pushing for Irene to be served the maximum sentence, seven years imprisonment!
“She feels dreadful in court,” Lynne adds. “She thinks she’s gone for all money, because Rose had told her she could get seven years in jail.”
Irene is touched that Dana and Harper are there to support her, despite Irene telling them to take Harper’s lawyer’s advice and stay away from her.
With the judge appearing to show little sympathy in Irene’s case, Greta is becoming concerned, and announces to the court that Irene would like to make a statement. But given Irene’s previous record, it’s a bit of a gamble as to whether it will help.
Though terrified, Irene speaks from the heart as she explains her reasoning in choosing to help Dana.
Although it’s clear that Irene did the right thing morally, given the police corruption at hand, it’s not clear whether Irene’s speech has been enough to convince them.
The next day, a tearful Irene returns to court ready to hear her verdict… will she be heading to prison?
A new Home and Away promo has teased that Justin Morgan will die in upcoming episodes, but is all as it seems?
Here’s the full spoilers for this week’s Home and Away episodes in Australia:
Monday 16th October (Episode 8140)
Kirby makes a final bid for freedom. Will Summer Bay lose one of their own?
Tuesday 17th October (Episode 8141)
Everything is coming up Lyrik. Alf throws a spanner in the works. Justin’s in danger.
Wednesday 18th October (Episode 8142)
Kirby puts her foot down. Roo’s ruse backfires. Will Mali spoil Alf’s surprise?
Thursday 19th October (Episode 8143)
Summer Bay gathers to celebrate Alf. Rose smells a rat. Justin is in mortal danger.