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Character Profiles > Leo Hancock Anthony Hammer

Leo Hancock 2001-2002
Lived: 32 Ramsay Street
Born: c. 1987
Parents: Evan and Maggie Hancock
Siblings: Matthew, Chris, Francesca and Emily
Family Tree: Hancock
Occupation: Student

Leo Hancock was born in 1987, soon after his parents, Evan and Maggie had married, and instantly had two older stepbrothers - Matt and Chris - from his father's previous marriage. Leo had a happy childhood, and was particularly close to Matt, who saw a lot of the same qualities in Leo he had had as a child. Leo loved sport from an early age, particularly cricket and soccer, and as he grew older, enjoyed skateboarding and chess. He was joined by a younger sister when he was four, after Maggie gave birth to a little girl called Francesca.

However, when Francesca was two years old, Leo left the gate open to the family's swimming pool, and Francesca fell into the water after wandering out of the house, drowning. Leo blamed himself for his sister's death, despite his parents' assurances that he was not responsible for the tragedy. When Maggie and Evan had another daughter, Emily, a few years later, Leo idolised her and looked out for her with a protective eye as they grew up together.

At the age of 13, Leo moved into No. 32 Ramsay Street with his family, and caused panic as the Hancock's unpacked their belongings after they realised Leo was nowhere to be seen. In fact, Leo had made his way down to the pub at Lassiter's hotel complex where Matt was working, and when he failed to find Matt, Leo was driven home by one of the other barmen, Toadie Rebecchi, who would also be living next door to the Hancocks on Ramsay Street. Maggie and Evan's relief at getting Leo home safe and sound faded quickly, after Leo's mischievous mate, Aleks, showed up on the Hancocks' doorstep, announcing he had come to stay while his parents were gone home to Albania. for a week. Leo, it transpired, had arranged for Aleks to stay for the week without telling Evan and Maggie, and with nowhere else for him to go, they were forced to let him stay with them as they spent their first week in Ramsay Street.

Francesca's anniversary arrived shortly after the Hancocks had settled into Ramsay Street, and Leo worried his parents with his erratic moods. Evan and Maggie were concerned that he seemed to be handling the anniversary particularly badly this year, and when they asked him if he would come to visit Francesca's grave with them, Leo refused to go. However, Leo had a heart to heart with Dione Bliss - who a week earlier had caused a similar accident with young Lolly Carpenter from across the street - and he told her all about the guilt he felt for leaving the pool gate open and causing Francesca to drown. Dione told Leo he wasn't to blame himself, and managed to help him come to terms with his role in his sister's death. That night, Leo surprised Evan and Maggie by saying he would go to the cemetery with them the following day. It was only when Dione dropped in to give Leo's football back that Evan and Maggie understood what lay behind his change of heart, and were shocked that Leo had spoken to Dione about Francesca's death. Evan and Maggie explained to Dione that Leo had never spoken to anyone about it before, and figured he must have identified with her due to her involvement in Louise's accident. After visiting the grave the next day, Evan and Maggie were hugely impressed with the more confident way Leo had handled her anniversary this time round, and he started showing the first signs of maturing.

Settling into Erinsborough High School proved difficult for Leo. Firstly, Evan had taken a teaching position at the school, causing Leo to come in for stick from the outset. And when Dean Hearn arrived at the school as the relief P.E. teacher, Leo was immediately targeted by him, and realised Hearn was bullying him. Leo started skipping his P.E. classes, and confided in Matt about his reasons for avoiding the class he would ordinarily have loved so much. Matt was disgusted by Leo's confession, and despite Leo pleading with him not to, Matt told Maggie and Evan. However, when Evan tackled Hearn about Leo's accusations, Hearn simply shrugged it off as Leo misinterpreting him. But a horrified Evan witnessed Hearn's bullying for himself when he saw Leo being pushed to the ground by Hearn and called a wuss during P.E. one afternoon. When Hearn saw Evan looking, he started joking with Leo and acted as if it was simply friendly teacher/student behaviour. Evan went straight to the principal, Susan Kennedy, to recount what he had seen, but Susan wasn't entirely convinced that what Evan had seen was true, and suggested that maybe he was simply being overprotective towards Leo. An angry Evan insisted he wasn't confusing what he saw, and Susan relented, agreeing to speak to both Dean Hearn and Leo about the incident. However, Hearn manipulated Susan into supporting him when they spoke, bysuggesting he was reminding her how she had similarly been misunderstood in a similar case some months before with tearaway student Jess Fielding. Despite initially supporting Hearn, Susan began to have doubts about the man after she saw him speaking aggressively with some students in the corridor some days later, and she came face to face with Hearn's temper herself when he had a go at her for interrupting one of his classes. Events came to a head when Hearn freaked out at Leo for talking in class and in the heat of the moment, threw the duster at Leo, cutting his forehead. Leo went straight to Susan's office to report Mr. Hearn, despite Hearn attempting to intimidate the rest of the class into backing him up. Susan was shocked to see the cut on Leo's forehead and assured him she would be dealing with the matter immediately, before sending him back to class. Meanwhile, Hearn recounted what had happened to the rest of the teachers in the staff room, making out that he had playfully tossed the duster across the room for Leo to catch. However, Evan saw straight through his story immediately and accused him of being a bully, who needed to learn how to control his anger. Susan interrupted the two before the argument went any further and held a meeting with them in her office. She was forced to ask Evan to leave the office, however, as he became more and more angry and frustrated with Hearn's excuses and criticisms of Leo. When they were alone, Susan told Hearn she was taking the matter very seriously and would be conducting a full investigation. But Hearn accused her of not supporting him since he was only a relief teacher, and resigned.

More trauma followed for Leo soon after his ordeal with Hearn was over when Emily went missing following Leo snapping at her when he was babysitting one afternoon. At first, Leo thought she was hiding in a sulk, but when he failed to find her after a half-hour of looking, he started to panic and called Evan. When Evan and Maggie got back, they were sure Emily would turn up somewhere on Ramsay Street before long, but as the hours passed they failed to find her. As night began to fall, the residents of Ramsay Street began helping the Hancocks in their search and a desperate Leo blamed himself for her disappearance. After an anxious night of waiting for news, Emily was spotted by a bus driver at a depot in a neighbouring suburb the following morning. Evan and Maggie rushed to help in the search for Emily there, but Leo was frustrated at being left at home. He managed to persuade Michelle Scully, the only other neighbour on Ramsay Street close to him in age, to lend him the train fare to join his parents, and when Leo reached them, he successfully managed to find Emily himself.

Evan became suspicious of Leo's behaviour at school after he witnessed some of the other Year 8's giving him money and passing notes to him in class. When he confronted Leo about it, Leo assured Evan that there was nothing to worry about and he had simply been owed some money from some guys in his class. However, Maggie noticed similarly strange behaviour from Leo when he started having plenty of cash to throw around at the Coffee Shop, but he dismissed it as simply a bit of extra cash from a paper round he had started doing. As the mysterious behaviour continued, Evan began to suspect that Leo was involved in drug dealing at school. When Evan and Maggie confronted Leo about their suspicions, Leo laughed the idea off as ludicrous, and insisted he was simply doing a paper round, and lending money to some of his school mates on occasion. Harold Bishop threw a spanner in the works for Leo when he told Evan and Maggie that he had recently observed Leo doing a lot of homework at the Coffee Shop. The truth behind Leo's sudden wealth was finally exposed when Evan reported two of his students to Susan for handing up extremely similar essays. One of the students, Adam Stevens, eventually admitted to Susan that he had been buying essays from Leo for $15 each over the last few weeks, and when Evan and Maggie found out, they were furious with Leo for his deceit. Leo revealed that he had been taking break-dancing lessons, and needed all the money he could possibly get to pay for them, fearing that Evan and Maggie were under too much of a financial strain already without them having to worry about paying for his lessons. Matt tried to convince Evan and Maggie that the lessons were worthwhile since he had seen Leo's moves, but they were more concerned with Leo's activities at school, and as punishment, banned him from taking any further lessons.

Leo was determined to continue with his break-dancing, insisting that he was better friends with he other dancers as opposed to the other students at school, and he also wanted to take part in the upcoming regional break-dancing competition. But Evan was adamant that Leo would not be entering the competition after what he had been doing at school, even after Leo admitted that he was picked on and teased at school for being the brainy, teacher's son, and break-dancing was his escape route. When the night of the competition arrived, Leo decided to defy his parents' orders and sneak out to participate. Matt caught Leo just as he was leaving the house, and after Leo explained how passionate he was about the dancing, Matt agreed not to tell Evan and Maggie, and even brought Leo down to Hemisfear nite club for the competition, where Leo proved himself to be a huge success with everyone - particularly the Block Rockin' Crew, who Leo was desperate to win a place with. Evan, meanwhile, had realised Leo was gone to the competition, and made his way down to Hemisfear, where he witnessed for himself how good his son was on the dance floor. Matt saw Evan and panicked, but Evan told Matt not to tell Leo he had seen him, and he went home. Seeing how enthused and skilled Leo was as a break dancer made Evan realise that he should support his son's talent and commitment, and whilst not lifting his grounding, Evan and Maggie did agree to let a delighted Leo join the Block Rockin' Crew.

When Leo and Michelle Scully discovered an illegal immigrant, Gregori, staying at the empty No. 22 while Lou Carpenter was on holidays, they were so taken by his plight that they agreed not to tell anyone about his presence and provided him with food and clean clothes. They were nearly rumbled early on, however, when Lou's friend Harold Bishop came over wondering why the lights were on, just as Leo and Michelle were about to leave Gregori for the night. Gregori hid behind the sofa to avoid being seen by Harold, and Leo and Michelle convinced Harold that they were simply tidying the house for Lou - which made sense to Harold since Lou had asked Leo to keep an eye on the house for him while he was away. Leo bonded with Gregori as they spent more and more time together and they both discovered they shared a mutual love for cult kung fu TV. Michelle, meanwhile, sorted out some clothes for Gregori by raiding her father's wardrobe under the pretence of donating old clothes to the Salvation Army. But Joe was suspicious of Michelle's activities and followed her over to No. 22, where he was stunned to discover that Michelle and Leo were hiding an illegal immigrant. Joe called Harold over, and they both listened to Gregori's heartbreaking story. However, Joe and Harold both agreed that they couldn't overlook his presence at No. 22, and reminded him that they didn't have Lou's permission to let him stay. Michelle and Leo both pleaded with Joe and Harold not to turn Gregori in, and Harold agreed to make some calls to a contact he knew at the immigration services. However, when Joe left to call work, Michelle became suspicious and followed him back to No. 26, where she found him on the phone to the police station. In the meantime, Harold had organised a sponsor for Gregori through his contact, but only on condition that he turn himself in. When Joe and Michelle came back over, Michelle told Gregori that the police were on their way and he should make a run for it straight away. But Gregori told her and Leo that he felt it was time he handed himself in to the police once and for all, in the hope of getting asylum. Sadly, Gregori wasn't granted refugee status and was sent back to Baruhstan. much to the disappointment of Leo and Michelle.

Leo was thrilled to learn that his break dancing crew was through to the break-dancing finals in Adelaide. But he was furious when Evan refused to let him go interstate, insisting that he was too young to travel alone and that the family simply couldn't afford sending him anyway. Leo angrily accused Evan of just looking for an excuse not to let him go, and insisted that Maggie would let him go. But Evan assured Leo that his mother would feel exactly the same way as he did, and he promised him that he'd get into serious trouble if he even considered sneaking off to Adelaide. However, Evan was disgusted when he saw Leo down at Lassiter's break dancing with his crew to raise money for the trip to the finals. Leo told Evan that he was simply raising the money himself since he had said the family couldn't afford to send him, but Evan was furious with Leo and sent him home instantly. Leo continued to plead with Evan to let him got to Adelaide as the date of the competition neared, but Evan stood firm in his refusal, insisting that Leo was too young compared to the other boys going. And Leo lost some more friends when the guys from his crew dismissed him as being 'just a kid' when he phoned to tell them his dad wouldn't let him go. In desperation, Leo offered Matt all of his savings in return for driving him to Adelaide, and Matt agreed, as well as telling Leo he didn't want any money for bringing him. But Evan still refused to let Leo go, forcing Leo to sneak off himself. But he had second thoughts just as he was about to board the bus to Adelaide, and decided he couldn't go through with his plans.

When Matt started competing in drag races to earn some extra cash, Leo was even more in awe of his older brother, and pleaded with him to let him sit in the passenger seat for one of the races. Matt initially refused to let Leo accompany him, insisting it was too dangerous, but Leo wouldn't take no for an answer. Tragedy struck, however, when Matt lost control of the car in the race and sent his opponent's car into a tree, before knocking Harold Bishop down as he walked along the road. Leo and Matt luckily escaped the accident with minor injuries, but Matt was in serious trouble after the driver of the other car lay in a coma and Harold lost his sight. Fearing Glenn would die and he would be left facing a manslaughter charge, Matt went on the run. The police were convinced the Hancocks knew where Matt was hiding out, but in truth, only Leo knew of his brother's whereabouts. Leo had secretly been taking him food, and when Constable Terri Hall noticed Leo buying food at the Coffee Shop, she was confident he knew where Matt was. She called over to the Hancock house to question Leo, but couldn't get any information out of him. However, after seeing sand on Leo's shoes, she knew he was definitely up to something, and started following him. Leo eventually unknowingly led Terri to a disused beach house where they heard him and Matt talking. Terri waited for Leo to leave the place so that she wouldn't have to have him implicated in the case. But after they barged in looking for Matt once Leo was gone, they were too late, and it turned out Matt had fled. But Matt had actually returned home, and gave himself into the police just as Terri was starting to come down hard on Leo. Matt was forced to stand trial, and things looked pretty bleak for the Hancocks. The biggest side effect of the crisis was Evan and Maggie's decision to sell the house so that they could afford proper legal representation for Matt. Leo and Emily were initially upset at the prospect of leaving Erinsborough so soon after settling in, with Leo particularly worried about having to leave the Block Rockin' Crew.

Just as the family was starting to come to terms with moving, however, a further blow came when it was revealed that Maggie had had a brief affair with Toadie Rebecchi. Evan walked out on Maggie after she admitted that she had had feelings for Toadie, and Leo started to fear that his parents would divorce. Luckily, on the eve of the Hancocks' planned departure, Evan managed to forgive Maggie and agreed to put the incident behind them. The next day, Leo sadly bid farewell to his home on Ramsay Street, after a short but sweet year, and left with the rest of the Hancocks for his grandparents' house in Albury.

Trivia Notes
Josh Jay originated the role of Leo Hancock, when Karl and Susan Kennedy looked after him and Emily in 2000. By the time the character returned as a regular cast member, played by Anthony Hammer, the ties with the Kennedys had been forgotten. Because of this, Perfect Blend treats the two Leo Hancocks as separate characters


Magic Moments
Episode 3999: The Hancocks' Departure

Biography by Moe