Home and Away star Ada Nicodemou on Leah's role in shock death story

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Home and Away spoilers follow for UK viewers.

Home and Away favourite Leah Patterson becomes a murder suspect on UK screens next week, after Susie McAllister's body is found by fishermen out in the sea.

Leah has spent the past few months desperately trying to track down Susie, who cruelly did a runner from Summer Bay with her life savings.

As new policeman Cash Newman (Nicholas Cartwright) oversees the case, Leah is on his list of possible culprits alongside her partner Justin Morgan (James Stewart). As time goes on, even Leah starts to wonder whether Justin could be guilty.

Here, Ada Nicodemou – who plays Leah – teases the drama to come.

We've seen Leah devote all of her time to tracking down Susie recently. How has this storyline been for you to play?

"Leah is struggling once again but in a different way, so it is nice to see this time around that the storyline is not about tragedy, but it's more about justice and making Susie be accountable for the pain that she has caused Leah and Justin and the other Summer Bay residents."

Leah and Justin's relationship has been pushed to breaking point, especially now that Justin is addicted to painkillers. Has that been a challenge?

"Leah and Justin are not in a great space at all. They are definitely both grieving but very differently. Leah is determined to find justice and that's why she is trying to bring Susie down.

"Leah and Justin are just not seeing eye to eye and she doesn't really have an ally. Leah really did need support and she found that with Stephen, who was one of Susie's other victims, whereas Justin is suppressing his feelings through addiction.

"It was a really hard storyline to do because of the subject matter, but it was also quite fulfilling because Jimmy just did such a great job and pushed us both really hard and I think the end result will be quite emotional and heartbreaking for the viewers."

Photo credit: Banijay Rights - Channel 5
Photo credit: Banijay Rights - Channel 5

What is Leah's first reaction when she finds out that Susie's body has washed up in the Bay?

"Shock and devastation. Even though Susie caused so much heartache for Leah and Justin, she wanted Susie to go to prison, so there was some sort of justice. Leah still wouldn't want anyone to be hurt like that."

How does Leah feel when new policeman Cash brings her in for questioning?

"Leah is very scared and vulnerable at this point. She has just gone through a really challenging time, and on top of everything that has happened with losing all of their money and her relationship deteriorating, to then find out that she could be a suspect in a murder case is unbelievable."

With a murderer walking free in the Bay, does Leah have her suspicions about the other residents?

"At first, Leah is still in shock by what has happened to Susie, so she doesn't really think about who it could be. She is obviously afraid that a murderer is walking amongst them and wants the police to find out who did it.

"However, after Stephen queries with Leah about Justin's involvement, Leah's confidence in Justin's innocence slowly chips away. She sits down and really thinks about what Justin has recently done, and whether he could be capable of that."

Photo credit: Jeremy Greive - Channel 5
Photo credit: Jeremy Greive - Channel 5

It sounds like it will be a long road to recovery for Justin and Leah's relationship…

"Yes, it is going to be really difficult for Leah and Justin. Justin has broken Leah's trust and he has been behaving erratically – she has given him so many chances.

"Leah doesn't feel connected to him anymore and she also unfortunately has doubt in her mind about whether or not he is the murderer, so it's really hard for them to come back from that."

How has it been to work with Bren Foster, who plays Leah's new friend Stephen?

"Bren has been so much fun! We get on really well. He is just such a nice family man and we spoke to each other a lot about getting my son into martial arts and since that conversation my son now does Jiu Jitsu.

"Bren also introduced me via Instagram to Erika Jayne from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bren got her to send a video message to me and I was fangirling quite a bit because I am a fan of the show."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK), with first look screenings at 6.30pm on 5STAR. Selected classic episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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