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Character Profiles > Maggie Hancock Sally Cooper

Maggie Hancock 2001-2002
Lived: 32 Ramsay Street
Marital Status: Evan Hancock
Children: Leo, Francesca and Emily
Family Tree: Hancock
Occupation: Law Student

Warm and compassionate, Maggie was in her late 20s when she met Evan Hancock. Surprisingly, she was willing to take on this divorcee with two children and soon they were married and expecting a child of their own. Leo was born in 1987. A few years later, Francesca came along and the Hancock family was complete. Sadly, their happiness was to be cut short. At just two years old, Francesca tragically drowned in the family's swimming pool after Leo accidentally left the gate open. Naturally, this loss hit Maggie extremely hard and she struggled to recover from it.

Then, Emily was born. Although she would never truly get over Francesca's death, things began to feel normal for Maggie again. She took on a part-time job as a legal secretary, which led her to decide to go to university and study law. Having only one parent working and four kids to look after was an enormous strain, but Evan was very supportive and they all somehow managed to cope. Maggie felt that most lawyers were corporate sharks in suits and she wanted to be able to fight in the corner of the underdog.

In 2001, Evan got a teaching job at Erinsborough High and the Hancocks moved into Number 32. Maggie was immediately sent into a panic when, as the family were moving in, she realised Leo was missing. They drove around town searching for him, even returning to their old house, eventually he was found in the pub by Toadie and reunited with his parents. Maggie was pleased to find out that Toadie was also in his final year of law and the two soon struck up a friendship. At the time, Toadie was facing prosecution over a supposedly subversive broadcast he had made on one of his UniFM radio broadcasts, and Maggie helped Toadie with his court case, proving herself to have an excellent legal mind.

Over the years, Maggie had become close to her step-sons, particularly Matt, and was more like a mate than a stepmother. Maggie's relationship with Evan's ex-wife, Geneveive, wasn't quite so rosy. Maggie always tried to be pleasant, but Geneveive would deliberately put Maggie down, belittling her beliefs and lifestyle.

Not long after arriving in Ramsay Street, Maggie had to go through the painful experience of the anniversary of Francesca's death. While Leo was still blaming himself, Maggie continued to reassure him that he was not to blame. Maggie was surprised when Dione revealed that Leo had spoken to her about it, after Dee had been through a similar experience with Louise Carpenter.

Maggie's legal skills came in useful once again when Libby decided to sue The Chronicle for unfair dismissal. Toadie, then working for the lawyers representing the paper, was unable to help due to a clash of loyalties, but Maggie was eager to at least try and fight the big business. Karl wasn't too happy about Libby's legal action since she was pregnant at the time but ended up taking his frustrations out on Maggie, who he didn't think had adequate experience to tackle such a case. Maggie was upset by this, but understood when Libby eventually decided to take an out-of-court settlement, rather than further risk her health.

While Maggie was busy helping her new neighbours, her husband was making enemies of them. Maggie was distraught as she realised that Evan was feuding with most of the street, Joe Scully and Karl Kennedy in particular. It seemed that his strong opinions regarding pretty much everything were at odds with the laid-back nature of life in Ramsay Street. Maggie didn't help matters by putting her garbage in the Kennedy's bin, but she was essentially just looking for a quiet life. The rivalry resulted in a tennis match between the Scullys and Hancocks, with Maggie and Lyn taking it far less seriously than their husbands.

More family troubles hit Maggie when Emily went missing. As the family had been hit by severe financial difficulties, matters were made worse when Emily lost a pair of expensive earrings, which she had found in a packing crate (which the Hancocks had been given by mistake after moving in). After Leo blamed Emily for everything, she ran off and boarded a bus, which took her out into the country. When the driver opened the door, Emily ran off and the driver reported the incident. The police connected this to Emily's disappearance and the Hancocks went to join the search. Maggie's fears were growing by the second, she had already lost one daughter and couldn't cope with history repeating itself. As the search went on, Maggie was beginning to lose hope when Leo turned up, having been given the train fare by Michelle. Maggie was furious at first, but delighted when Leo found Emily hiding.

The Hancocks were relieved to have Emily back safe and sound, but shocked when they became the subject of an investigation by social services. It seemed that after Emily running away, and two instances of Leo taking off on his own, there may be something more sinister going on in the Hancock household. Maggie and Evan were shocked by the allegations but after a visit from a social worker, who spoke to Leo, Emily and neighbour Susan Kennedy, the investigation was dropped.

Meanwhile, the Hancocks continued to have trouble with the neighbours. When they discovered that they'd need a new fence, they realised they couldn't afford it. However, they tried to make Lou pay for it, since he owned the house on the other side, Number 30, leading to Evan and Lou falling out.

As Maggie continued her final year at uni, she also took on some extra work at a legal firm. This meant spending less and less time at home, something Evan resented her for. Maggie began to feel guilty, something that only worsened when she and Evan suspected that Leo had been taking drugs. They decided to go through his school locker, looking for evidence of this, but even when Leo caught them, they were still no closer to discovering the truth. However, Matt followed Leo one day and discovered the truth he was learning to breakdance. When they also learnt that Leo was writing essays for other kids to help fund these lessons, Leo was banned from breakdancing, causing a huge rift between him and Evan.

Maggie's guilt worsened when Emily began to complain about feeling ill. For weeks, she complained about having an earache, but Karl couldn't find anything wrong. It wasn't until Emily was almost run over and given some ice cream to cheer her up that Karl realised she actually had a problem with her tooth. Maggie's problems with Emily continued as she tried to throw away Emily's paintings, which adorned the walls of the kitchen.

With all her problems at home, Maggie found it difficult to concentrate on her studies, resulting in her failing one of her exams, due to not getting a 'special consideration' form handed in on time. After a few weeks of worrying and eventually pleading her case, Maggie was allowed to graduate and began her articles at a small law firm called Cox & Associates, along with Toadie, though the eponymous 'Associates' proved to be sorely lacking. Maggie didn't notice that Toadie was beginning to develop a crush on her. When she found out he liked someone at work, she assumed it was Meredith the sandwich girl and tried to set the two of them up. At home, Maggie and Evan were growing apart. After Matt bought himself a car and had a huge falling out with Evan, Maggie found it difficult to support her husband, accusing him of wanting to control the family. Maggie was also uncomfortable when Geneveive emerged once more, looking for support from Evan when her relationship broke down and she had a breast cancer scare.

When Matt moved into Number 30, Maggie got closer to Toadie, asking him to try and help patch things up between Matt and Evan. Toadie decided to take the opportunity to tell Maggie how he felt, one night while they were working at Number 30. He stood and told Maggie everything, but she had been using headphones and was oblivious to his declaration. Unfortunately, Matt overheard the entire thing, causing more tension. Toadie realised he'd have to say something sooner or later and so, a week later, he blurted the whole thing out to Maggie. She was stunned and it caused tension for them at work, leading Toadie to almost quit his job.

Evan was losing his grip on the family as he argued with Leo over him going to a breakdancing competition in Adelaide and also grew further apart from Matt. The problems in the family caused Maggie to grow closer to Toadie and she eventually admitted to him that she felt the same way. As the pair leaned in for a kiss, Evan burst in with the news that Matt and Leo had been in a car accident, missing their contact by a split-second.

As Matt faced a court case after running down Harold in an illegal drag race, Maggie realised things were very serious. She and Evan discussed the possibility of selling the house, in order to cover the legal fees they were about to face. The problems worsened when Matt ran away from the hospital, only letting Leo know where he was. When policewoman Terri Hall finally found him, Matt was taken to prison but later released on bail. While Evan was on the verge of disowning his son over the whole business, Maggie disagreed, offering her support. As the Hancocks made the decision to sell up, Maggie realised her loyalties had to lie with her family.

So, when Toadie decided to go away for a few weeks, he knew Maggie might not be there when he returned. She went to see him and they talked about what might have been, Toadie leaned in for a kiss and a horrified Maggie pushed him away, telling him she had to stick by her family now. Before he went, Toadie wrote her a letter, explaining his feelings. A letter which was intercepted by Emily. The Hancocks had been receiving a lot of letters of support from people in Erinsborough and Emily was sitting reading them out to everyone when she started reading Toadie's letter. Evan was horrified to learn about the feelings between his wife and Toadie and walked out on her. Upon his return, Maggie explained her feelings for Toadie, saying he made her feel alive. Evan said he felt like less of a man and he told Maggie he wanted a divorce.

The Hancocks had managed to sell their house, albeit at a knockdown price, to Mal Kennedy, moving to stay with Maggie's parents in Albury while they got back on their feet. As their last day in Ramsay Street dawned, Maggie and Evan realised they had to resolve things. They had spoken to Matt's QC and it looked like he might escape without a jail sentence and they could see the effect that all the bad feeling was having on Leo and Emily. They decided that leaving Ramsay Street would be a fresh start for all of them and they gathered a few neighbours at Number 32 for a farewell drink.

But before Maggie left, she wrote a letter to Toadie, explaining her feelings - a letter that Toadie lost and never managed to read after Bob the dog got hold of it. A few months later, Dione found the letter while spring cleaning, but she kept it to herself. Some months later, Toadie found the letter after splitting up with Dee. After reading it, it made him realise that while Maggie had just been a fling, Dee was his true love, and he vowed to win her back.


Magic Moments
Episode 3999: The Hancocks' Departure

Biography by Steve