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Leigh Palmer

Leigh Palmer

Leigh Palmer

Leigh Palmer

Leigh Palmer

First Appearance: Episode 534 (1985)

Last Appearance:
Episode 699 (1986)

Known Family:
Father - David Palmer; Mother - Frannie Henderson; Stepfather - George Henderson; Brother - Tim Palmer; Son - Shane Palmer; Grandfather - Doug Palmer; Step-Grandmother - Rosie Palmer

Key Relationships:
Falls in love with Adam Tate.

Key Storylines:
In 1985, Leigh - the daughter of David Palmer's brother, Ray - is staying with her grandfather, Doug, and his new wife, Rosie, in Brisbane, having left the home she shared with her mother and stepfather in Ceedum. An ambitious teenager, Leigh asks if she can go and stay with her uncle, David, in Melbourne. Rosie arranges this and Leigh heads to south, where she moves in with David at his country house. It doesn't take long for David's wife, Patricia, to enlist Leigh to work for her to find out who really killed Luke Carlyle. Leigh moves up to Sydney, where she stays firstly with Charlie and then with the Hamiltons at Dural as she begins to scheme and manipulate people for her - and, secondly, Patricia's - ends.

Prior to moving away from George and Frannie, Leigh had given birth to a baby son, Shane - the result of a liaison with a guy named Richard Crampton. When Richard found out that Leigh was pregnant, he viciously arranged for his mates to gang-rape her so that she couldn't prove he was the father. In revenge, Leigh cut the brakes on Richard's car, and he was seriously injured when they failed while he was driving. Unfortunately, Leigh's younger brother, Tim, was seen standing by the car just before the incident and Leigh let him take the blame. Leigh hated Shane when he was born and was happy to hand him over to her mother and her second husband. However, when Beryl's baby son, Robert, is kidnapped, Leigh sees an opportunity to use Shane to cause trouble, and she arranges for her mother to bring him down south.

Leigh begins to arrange situations where Beryl is around when Leigh is looking after Shane: Leigh makes out that she's a really bad mother, her plan being that Beryl will become fond of Shane and will pay Leigh to take the boy off her hands in place of the kidnapped Robert. The plan begins to work - until Leigh arrives at Beryl's one night to find baby Robert lying in a bassinet on her doorstep. Panicking that she'll miss out on Beryl's money, Leigh kidnaps Robert again and takes him to a children's home, where she leaves him with the owner before running away.

There's a shock for Leigh when David reveals that he's her father, the result of an affair he had with Frannie in the 1960s.

Leigh ends up backing-out of the plan to sell Shane to Beryl, after she begins to fall in love with her son while spending time with him. She's therefore horrified when Richard Crampton turns up and demands that Leigh hand over his son. The fight for custody leads to the deaths of two men: Richard and Neil Duffy, who Richard hired initially to befriend Leigh and try and sweet-talk her into handing Shane over.

Over time, Leigh's conscience nags at her, and when she nearly loses Shane in an accident she begins to realise how Beryl must have felt when Robert disappeared. She decides to confess to Beryl about the kidnapping. Although Beryl is understandably furious, she decides not to go to the police; but when the woman who runs the children's home recognises Leigh as the girl who left a baby there and ran off, the full truth comes out and she turns Leigh in. Leigh goes on the run, hiding out with the help of Alison Carr and Spider Webb. She pleads with Spider to go and see Beryl and ask her to take Shane back to live with Frannie. Before Beryl heads off to Ceedum, Leigh spends some final time with her son - but she's spotted leaving Beryl's house by police officer, Adam Tate, and is arrested. Although she's released on bail, she decides enough is enough and, back at Beryl's, she attempts suicide by swallowing some pills she finds in the bathroom.

Leigh is found in time and is rushed to hospital. She returns to Beryl's to wait for her trial - and, over time, she begins to develop a romantic relationship with Adam Tate, despite their opposing places in the criminal justice system. The couple fall in love - but disaster strikes when they head out on a romantic picnic near the edge of a cliff: the handbrake on Adam's car is released accidentally, the car rolls forward and knocks Leigh over the edge of the cliff. Leigh crashes down into the sea below.

Leigh survives the fall, but decides to escape her troubles by pretending that she's dead. However, she turns up on Charlie's doorstep, pleading for Alison's help - help that Alison agrees to provide. Unfortunately, Leigh is sprung when Charlie returns home unexpectedly. Realising she can't run forever, Leigh decides to hand herself back in to the police. Her trial begins a few weeks later - but at the end of the first day, as Leigh is being escorted out of the courthouse, she escapes from the police officers who are about to take her back to jail, runs out into the road and is hit by an oncoming truck. Leigh can only escape her tragic past through death.

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