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Guest Character Profiles > Belinda Bell Nikki Shiels

Belinda Bell 2015-2016
Occupation: Psychiatric Nurse, Theatre Nurse

After being released from prison in 2013, Steph Scully returned to her old home of Erinsborough, but after coming off her anti-psychotic medication, she ended up suffering an episode and stealing Lucas and Vanessa baby son, Patrick. After being taken away to a secure psychiatric hospital near her family in Bendigo, it was over two years before Steph returned to try and deal with what she'd done. Having succeeded in her counselling and continuing to take her medication, Steph was transferred to a low-security hospital in the city, and was allowed out during the day to find a job and become part of society again. Deciding that Erinsborough was still the most supportive social network she'd ever known, she found a job at Fitzgerald Motors, and slowly started to win back the truth of a few of the locals, though many were still uncomfortable with her presence.

One day, as Steph had a significant breakthrough, using a game of wheelchair basketball to help her old, and recently paralysed, friend Toadie to regain his confidence, she was watched from afar by a mysterious woman. Later, as Steph was leaving Harold's Cafe, the woman - Belinda - confronted her, warning her that she was making a mistake by coming back to Erinsborough. Steph told Belinda that she disagreed, and that she no longer had any say in her life anyway, but the next day, Belinda continued to hang around. After failing to convince Steph to leave with her, she tried talking to Toadie - after vaguely explaining that she and Steph had met at the psychiatric hospital, Belinda warned him that Steph wasn't ready for this and that one day, he would see it too, and would have to ask her to leave. Unsettled by this, Toadie later suggested that Steph shouldn't join him at a planned sleepover to stop the high school from being closed down. As Toadie had been so enthusiastic about the idea earlier, it didn't take long for Steph to realise who he'd been talking to, and she tracked down Belinda at The Waterhole, furiously warning her to keep her nose out, or she'd regret it.

When Belinda returned the following week, she explained that she'd heard about a fire at Erinsborough High, and was relieved to find that Steph was OK. Steph, however, was struggling to cope, as she'd become the prime suspect in starting the fire, as a Fitzgerald Motors jerry can had been found at the scene. Convinced that someone was trying to set her up, Steph wondered if it could be Belinda, as she'd been so desperate for her to leave Erinsborough. Steph then confided in Toadie about her relationship with Belinda - they had become lovers after meeting at the psychiatric hospital where Belinda had been Steph's nurse. Though surprised, Toadie was supportive of Steph and encouraged her to follow her instincts and speak to Belinda about the night of the fire, but that conversation ended badly, when Belinda simply got up and walked away, without confirming or denying anything. The next day, Belinda turned up at the garage with a speeding ticket, which proved that she hadn't even been in town on the night of the fire, and Steph apologised, admitting that she couldn't think of anyone else who would want to frame her. Later in the day, as Steph was chatting to Toadie outside the garage, Belinda watched from across the street as Toadie comforted her, and then marched over and accused Steph of still being in love with him. Steph insisted that she only loved Toadie as a friend, but Belinda grew increasingly angry and gave Steph an ultimatum - she could have her or she could stay in Erinsborough. When Steph failed to answer, Belinda realised that she'd made her choice, and walked away.

Belinda came back the following week, in order to apologise to Steph, but was alarmed to find her in a manic state, searching a car she was servicing. She claimed that she was looking for a phone, and Belinda tried to calm her down and took her for lunch, worried that she was showing signs of a relapse. As they chatted some more, Steph admitted that she'd heard Greensleeves playing the night before - the music she'd always heard in her head before one of her manic episodes - and that the only explanation she could come up with was that it was a phone ringtone in the car she'd been servicing. Though Steph was convinced that there had to be a rational explanation for the music, Belinda was worried that the stress of being in Erinsborough was proving too much for Steph. She later found herself alone with Steph's bag and decided to search it, to make sure she was still taking her medication - Steph then caught her in the act, furious that Belinda didn't trust her, and she sent her away. However, the following week, Steph had been at the hospital having her medication levels checked, and was surprised to spot Belinda going into the building. After catching Belinda looking through her bag, Steph wondered if her ex was now trying to find out more about her treatment from the doctors, so she waited for her, and was surprised to learn that Belinda had actually been there for a job interview. She told Steph that she had decided to make a life for herself in Erinsborough too, hopeful that one day they might be able to get back together and make their relationship work.

However, it wasn't long before Steph found out that Paul Robinson had been the person trying to make her think she was losing her mind again - and that Belinda had had a part to play in the whole thing. Paul had been concerned about Steph's growing friendship with his daughter Amy and grandson Jimmy - as Jimmy was of a similar age to Steph's son, Charlie, he worried that she might snatch him, as she'd done with baby Patrick. After chatting to Belinda, Paul's concerns had only grown, and when Steph finally found out that truth, she was furious - she used the information to her advantage, however, blackmailing Paul into leaving her alone and giving her a job at The Waterhole, whilst telling Belinda that she wanted nothing more to do with her. Belinda wasn't about to give up on them that easily, though, and followed Steph back to Ramsay Street, furious to learn that she was moving in with the Rebecchis. A jealous Belinda then warned Toadie that he wouldn't get away with stealing Steph away. The following week, it became clear that Belinda wasn't prepared to give up on Steph, when she turned up in Ramsay Street, talking about buying number 26, Steph's old family home, which had just gone on the market. As Steph and Belinda argued over the issue, Paul turned up, as the owner of the house, to meet his prospective buyer. When Belinda saw him, she was furious at all the trouble he'd caused for her and punched him in the face. She also continued to issue threats to Toadie, warning him that he'd make a very dangerous enemy in her. And it looked like she would get her chance for revenge, when Toadie went into hospital the next day for a tricky operation to remove a bullet fragment in his spine. As he started to feel drowsy from the anaesthetic, he was shocked to realise that Belinda was one of the nurses assisting in his operation, but he was unable to raise the alarm.

As she waited for news, Sonya then spotted a sign welcoming Belinda to the nursing staff, and managed to snatch the rota from duty nurse Stacey. Worried that Belinda was about to use the operation as a way to get revenge, Sonya ran off down the corridor and burst into the operating theatre, interrupting at a crucial moment. After learning that Belinda had been doing a good job, and that the interruption may have caused long-term problems for Toadie, Sonya felt like a fool and, although Toadie was understanding when he came around, she worried about all of the problems she'd caused. When Belinda then learnt that someone had made a complaint against her conduct with Steph back in Bendigo, it looked like her career might be over. Though she and Steph were both planning to deny that anything untoward had happened, Belinda ultimately decided that she had to tell the truth and face the consequences, but she also warned Sonya about how close Steph and Toadie were, and that she needed to be careful. With that warning still ringing in her ears, and feeling guilty about the part she'd played in Belinda now being unemployed, Sonya suggested that they could hire Belinda as a nurse to work with Toadie at home on his recuperation, with the alternative being that he'd have to go away to a rehab centre. Though both Toadie and Steph were surprised at Sonya's turn-around, they failed to see her ulterior motive - that pushing Steph back towards Belinda might just stop her from stealing Toadie away.

With Toadie back from hospital, Belinda started her new job. At first, things seemed to be going well, despite Sonya's obvious attempts to constantly leave Steph and Belinda alone together, but it quickly became apparent that Belinda was uncomfortable with the situation. Realising that she couldn't be around Steph, she decided that she was going to quit the job and leave town. Before she went, Belinda told Steph that Sonya had only hired her because she was worried about the strong bond she had with Toadie, and as Steph realised that it was true, and Sonya then told Toadie, it caused problems in the Rebecchi marriage. It was only after Toadie found out that Sonya's interruption during his operation had left him unable to have more children that she realised just how much damage her jealousy and insecurity had done.

Belinda returned to town six months later, as an anonymous benefactor had agreed to pay her legal fees, so that Toadie could help her to get her nursing licence back. Even after learning that Steph had moved on and was in a new relationship with police officer Mark Brennan, Belinda began to wonder if she was the anonymous benefactor, unable to imagine why anyone else would want to see her again. However, she was in for a surprise when she found out that it was actually Paul, who'd grown close to Steph after the pair had gone into business running a motel together, and he felt that her relationship with Mark was a mistake, and that she'd be much happier with Belinda. Though Steph made it clear that she was happy with Mark, Belinda remained hopeful, and Mark attempted to warn her off. When Jimmy was then hit by a car, which drove off, Mark wondered if it could have been Belinda, as the description matched her hire car and she'd been in a distressed state when he last saw her. Belinda managed to prove her innocence, but the accusations caused tension between Mark and Steph, who decided to invite Belinda for lunch. Belinda quickly managed to misread the signs, and leaned in for a kiss, which was witnessed by Steph's son, Charlie. Steph had been trying to rebuild her relationship with her son after regaining access, and was forced to have an awkward conversation with him as she explained that she and Belinda had once been a couple, but there was no chance of them getting back together. Belinda's day then went from bad to worse, as Toadie reported that she'd failed to get her nursing licence back and Steph made it clear that they were never going to get back together. With no reason to stick around, and having paid Paul back for his legal help, she left town once again.

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Biography by Steve