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Helen Smart (Caroline Gillmer)

Much-arrested tart with a heart.

First seen in (118), and has presumably already been inside for a few days at least when she walks past Kerry Vincent's cell and recognises her from when she was also on the game. At this stage, she is more a plot catalyst than a character: she gets a message from Doreen to Kevin and tells Kerry of Jock Stewart's unsavoury reputation for bashing up prostitutes. Perhaps because there is nothing much else to go on, Caroline Gillmer turns her brief appearances into a showcase of gruesome "comic" accents - Nazi officer, Marilyn Monroe, Cockney charlady, and so on.

Brought to Wentworth on a 10 day sentence for not paying a fine for prostitution in (161): we find out here that her full name is Helen Pamela Smart. She helps with the tunnel escape by learning how to forge Doreen's signature so she can draw out some of her money and hire a van for the getaway, which she leaves at the other end of the tunnel (167). Judy comes to stay with her briefly after the escape (171)-(172).

Returns to Wentworth in the same van as Susie Driscoll (272), and hears Kate Peterson's admission that she killed Sandy Edwards. She arranges a stripper for Bea's birthday party when she is released by cancelling the singing telegram Erica has already ordered (274).

Returns as a mysterious inmate of solitary (277) - though not seen until (279) - framed for possession of drugs by Det Sgt Ryan. It becomes clear that Helen has been framed as her connection to businessman politician Harry Stanfield are inconvenient for his political ambitions. Bea writes an article on Helen for the Stir which is smuggled out to the Dispatch, though Helen cannot come up with the proof unless she signs a note allowing the police access to her bank account and incriminating payments from Harry Stanfield for "catering services" she provided to his clients. Helen's statement is confiscated, but Erica is so disgusted after yet another telling off from Ted Douglas that she posts it herself. As a result, Helen is interviewed by Internal Affairs about Sgt Ryan and bail is arranged for her (286).

She returns to Wentworth (312) at the same time as Tina and after her release is involved in the plot about the prostitute killer, when she is attacked by the murderer in her flat (314).

She is reintroduced when Judy gets the money from her father's will (342), and uses her contacts to help her buy Driscoll Mk II at a knock-down price.

She is sent to Wentworth after a little misunderstanding with a detective (355) and stands in for Bea giving lists of the women's demands to Erica. She is released in (357) and tries to hitch a lift with Ted Douglas.

Turns up again at Driscoll in (382) asking for Judy's help get her sister Sharon out of the clutches of a cult. Arrested for kidnapping Sharon after the accidental killing of murder of the cult deprogrammer Colin Burton and sent back to Wentworth (385). Taken ill during the lassa fever outbreak (391) and gives the women the background on Sonia Stevens (394). We don't see her after this during this stint: in (397), Judy tells Hazel that Helen was sentenced to three years at her trial and had been taken to Barnhurst. [Incidentally, this is pretty rough justice given that Sharon, who was the person who actually stabbed Colin Burton, only got probation!]

Returns in (419) on a transfer from Barnhurst for assaulting an officer there and identifies Belinda Johns as an ex-prostitute, appearing in (428) and credited for it in (429). She is bitten by the snake that Cass brings inside (433), and shortly after is transferred to another block for playing a practical joke on Joan.

In (391) Helen's age is given as 35. It would be ungallant to make any comment.

Updated ~ 09 January 1999

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