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Guest Character Profiles > Laura Cleary Jodi Flockhart

Laura Cleary (prev. Davidson) 2007, 2014
Siblings: Gus and Victor

Following the unsolved murder of her older brother Gus, Laura Davidson struggled to cope. With the help and support of her boyfriend, Nick Thompson, she was just beginning to move on with her life when a man named Paul Robinson arrived on her doorstep, claiming to be Gus' killer. Laura was just about ready to call the police, but Paul's daughter Elle returned later that day and explained that her father had recently undergone brain surgery and nobody could be certain that he was actually responsible for Gus' death. Desperate for answers, Laura got in touch with Paul and met him at Charlie's Bar where he admitted that he was anxious to make up for the mistakes of his past, but their conversation was interrupted by a furious Nick, demanding to know what was going on. Laura sent him away, and Paul agreed to help her out by getting her a room at Lassiter's hotel, which Elle co-owned. Laura lied that she didn't want Nick to know where she was, but later contacted him and arranged to meet him in her room, where she explained that she wasn't about to lose the opportunity for justice for her brother.

After several days at Lassiter's, Nick and Laura had run up quite a bill but Laura was beginning to feel guilty, and realising that this wasn't going to bring Gus back or make her feel any better about his death. When Paul's girlfriend Rebecca came to visit, she explained that she'd also been a victim of an abusive partner and understood what Laura was going through. Laura and Nick quickly realised that Paul had drawn the wrong conclusion after Nick had burst into the bar the week before, and realised that they could use this to their advantage. Laura arranged to meet Paul, and explained that she couldn't stay hidden at the hotel forever, and would need her own place if she was ever going to escape from Nick. Laura then started to push Paul into giving her large sums of money, but he explained that he couldn't help, as he no longer owned the hotel. Disbelieving Laura stole his bank card when his back was turned, and she and Nick were stunned to learn that he was telling the truth. The missing bank card quickly made Elle suspicious, particularly when it mysteriously reappeared in the General Store when Laura was there. With Nick trying to find a new way to get back at Paul for the grief he'd caused, and Laura feeling increasingly sick about her behaviour, Elle went snooping in their hotel room, looking for proof that they were conning Paul, only for them to suddenly return, leaving Elle trapped in the bathroom.

Elle managed to escape by setting off the fire alam in the bathroom. After being evacuated, Laura was worried when Paul spotted her and Nick in the hotel courtyard. She quickly explained that they were trying to work things out, and Paul invited them back to his house for a coffee. Whilst there, as Laura had another awkward conversation with Rebecca, Nick found out from Declan that his big brother, and Rebecca's other son, Oliver Barnes was the rich heir to the Barnes hotel empire. Laura then became worried as Nick saw another way to get to Paul, and get some money, by kidnapping Declan. Laura was appalled and Nick agreed to drop the idea, but when Declan was then wrongly accused of running down Bridget Parker, Nick found him hiding out behind Lassiter's. He managed to sneak him back to the hotel room, where Laura returned and realised what Nick had in mind. They convinced Declan to stay for a while, at least until the police had gone and, once he was asleep, took a video clip of him on their mobile phone and called Paul, Rebecca and Oliver, demanding money. Though Paul wanted to call the police, Rebecca refused to involve them, worried that her son would be hurt, and Oliver managed to $10,000, though the rest of his money was tied up in a legal battle. However, when Nick called again and mentioned 'what goes around comes around', Paul suddenly realised who had Declan and went to the hotel. Declan, meanwhile, had tried to leave and been tied up by Nick. When Paul turned up, Nick and Declan hid in the bathroom, but Paul knew what was going on, and Laura, in a moment of rage, knocked him out with a vase, telling him it was revenge for what he did to Gus, before escaping with Nick and Declan.

Hiding out in an old caravan in the bush, Nick and Laura kept Declan tied up, and despite his best efforts, he couldn't convince Laura to help him, but he did manage to get her to allow him to call his mum. Unfortunately, Nick returned and caught them, but Laura managed to calm him down and took him out for a walk. Meanwhile, Declan managed to get hold of a knife and started cutting through his ropes. The next morning, he was left alone again and managed to free himself, only to be caught again. Nick realised that they couldn't wait any longer, and contacted Oliver, giving him details of where they would exchange Declan for the $500,000. But when he went to collect petrol later, Nick overheard a local cop chatting to the garage owner and realised that they were about to be found. He headed back and managed to get Declan and Laura out of the caravan before it was raided. When Nick then left Laura alone in the car with Declan, she finally realised what a huge mistake they were making, and freed the captive. He ran off into the bush and Nick came back to the car. Realising what Laura had done, Nick spotted Declan in the distance and gave chase - Laura then spotted Declan with his leg trapped under a leg and quickly took Nick in another direction. Back at the car, she managed to convince him to give up on the whole thing but the thought of the money led Nick to change his mind. He turned up at the drop-off point with Laura, who, with her hood up, pretended to be Declan. Rebecca and Oliver quickly realised that it was a set-up and, as Nick and Oliver fought over the money, the bag came open and it flew off onto the beach. The police then swooped, arresting both Laura and Nick, and demanding to know what they'd done with Declan. Laura finally relented and showed them where she'd last seen Declan, who was found later that night, while both Nick and Laura were denied bail a few days later.

Seven years later, Paul came back to haunt Laura once again, when her other brother, Victor, returned to Australia, after living - and spending time in prison - in the UK for several years. After establishing that Paul had been responsible for Gus' death, Victor got his revenge by shooting and killing Paul's niece, Kate Ramsay. When the police finally found a lead connecting Victor to the crime, they were unable to find him, but Laura knew how dangerous her brother was and decided that she had to go to the police. She admitted that she'd seen Victor, and had confirmed that Paul had confessed to her all those years ago, and then gave the police an address where she thought he could be hiding out. Having done her bit to help, Laura told Paul that, if Victor really was out to get him, then he needed to be careful.

Trivia Notes
Jodi Flockhart previously appeared as Tracey Fisher in 2001, and Nurse Huggins and Nurse Nicola Hodder in 2003
Laura's surname was given as Davidson in her 2007 appearances, but she had reverted to her maiden name of Cleary when she appeared in 2014

Biography by Steve