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Comment > Love Thy Neighbour: Stingray Timmins by Steve

Scott ‘Stingray’ Timmins was a character who didn’t do things by halves. Arriving naked on a football pitch, and leaving by passing away at a street party to celebrate his mum’s birthday, he was a bundle of fun and brought an energy to Ramsay Street that can never be replaced. Here’s a look back at the life and times of the youngest Timmins son…

Scott’s introduction to the viewers was nothing if not original. Streaking at a football game was just a small taste of things to come with Ramsay Street’s newest teenager. But it soon became clear that behind his energetic outbursts there was a more serious problem lurking. Susan Smith, teacher extraordinaire, took Scott in, having given his cousin, Toadie, a home several years earlier, and quickly recognised the tell-tale signs of ADHD. When the medication brought some dramatic changes to Scott’s bubbly personality, Susan helped him to control the ADHD another way, by weaning him off soft drinks and fish fingers and onto salad. Before long, he was the Scott everyone had come to live, but with the slightly more manic elements toned down. And, after Scott complained that he didn’t fit in, Toadie gave him the fish nickname of Stingray, an honour usually reserved for the Rebecchi side of the family.

As soon as his young cousin arrived, Toadie was entertaining the neighbours with horror stories about ‘Aunty Janelle’ and the Timmins clan of Colac. And by the end of 2004, the infamous Janelle had pitched up in Ramsay Street, complete with caravan. But her attempts to drag Stingray back to Colac failed, as he realised that his heart was now in Erinsborough. The next Timmins to turn up was one of Stingray’s three older brothers. Dylan was fresh out of juvenile detention and looking for some of that Ramsay Street magic that had turned his little brother’s life around. Stingray had an intriguing relationship with his brother, laughing one minute, fighting the next. But as Janelle returned and more Timmins siblings – sisters Bree and Janae – moved in, it became clear that this was a trait shared by them all. Over the two years that followed, the Timmins family came to blows on more than one occasion but if there was one thing they became famous for, it was pulling together. When Stingray found himself being sexually harassed by his boss, Go-Go Riley, the Timmins clan set up a rival courier firm to drive her out of business. And when Stingray was battling alcoholism, his sisters showed their support, turning up at one of his AA meetings. They may have seemed dysfunctional, but Stingray’s family were always there to pull him through the tough times.

Stingray’s love life was never simple, but it revolved around three women – cousins Serena Bishop and Sky Mangel, and the (controversially) younger Rachel Kinski. As soon as Stingray arrived in Erinsborough, he was drawn to spoilt Serena, who he christened “Serena Bean”. After introducing her to the dubious delights of mooning and dumpster diving, not to mention throwing up on her during one of their first dates, Stingray settled into a happy relationship with Serena. But their time together was full of ups and downs – with Serena struggling with her boyfriend’s loud, manic ways. By the end of 2004, the couple had split and Stingray soon found a replacement in the form of Shazza Cox, who proved to be a female version of him. That relationship only lasted a matter of weeks, and, after another attempt to make things work with Serena, who later perished in a plane crash, it wasn’t until the beginning of 2006 that Stingray found a new kindred spirit in the form of Rachel Kinski. But theirs was not going to be an easy relationship, particularly due to a controversial age difference which saw her in her final years of high school, as he was just beginning university. The secret affair didn’t stay secret for long, as gradually more and more people found out about their love, and, during one break in the relationship, Stingray ended up having a one-night stand with best friend, Sky, who was nursing her own broken heart after splitting up with Dylan. Stingray and Rachel’s on-off romance continued for several months but it was the revelation that Stingray was the father of Sky’s unborn baby that finally ended things. Although they had a brief reunion in the months that followed, it was never quite the same and Stingray realised that the girl of his dreams had been right there all along – Sky. Although DNA tests had shown that Dylan was in fact the father of Sky’s baby, Kerry, she and Stingray were drawn together and, despite the problems that their relationship might cause, they both knew that it was meant to be.

After a couple of years of ups and downs, but little to truly test him, Stingray came across his biggest hurdle in 2006, after developing an alcohol problem. Triggered by his attempts to fit in with his new university friends, Stingray started to use alcohol to give himself more confidence in his unsettling new environment, particularly as his relationship with schoolgirl Rachel Kinski left him feeling less mature. A part-time job in the Scarlet Bar only made matters worse and, as problems with Rachel and their inability to be together due to parental disapproval worsened, he relied more and more on the booze to get him through his difficulties. Run-ins with the police and the possibility of never being able to have children, after falling from the Kinskis’ roof, almost snapped him out of his problem, but it wasn’t long before something else came along to send him running back to the beer bottle. As his family tried to help him, it took the birth of Sky’s baby, Kerry, who, at the time, Stingray believed was his child, to finally bring him to his senses. After stealing the baby, and risking her life, Stingray realised that he’d gone too far and needed help, so started attended Alcoholics Anonymous sessions.

Just as it looked like Stingray was turning his life around after a terrible 2006, dealing with his alcohol problem and even settling into a happy relationship with Sky, tragedy struck when baby Kerry was diagnosed with leukaemia. When Dylan’s accidental exposure to toxic waste in 2005 was suspected to be the cause of the disease, as well as ruling him out as a donor, Stingray stepped in to give bone marrow to his niece. Sky, meanwhile, had been plagued by nightmares and visions of her boyfriend dying and decided that, before his operation, she should show Stingray how much she cared for him. In a rather strange ceremony, conducted by Bree who had, thanks to the internet, become a high priestess of the planet Vorteon, Stingray and Sky showed their commitment to each other. Having pulled through the operation and recovered in hospital, Stingray was soon back to his old self and joining his family for a big party in the middle of Ramsay Street, to celebrate both Janelle’s birthday and the news that Kerry was in the clear. But, as he sat down to rest and watched everyone dancing and having fun, Stingray quietly slipped away.

Whether he was confusing them with his crazy take on the English language, forced to parade in a pink leotard for his courier job or cycling head first into Harold’s pool, Stingray always made everyone around him smile. But his final 18 months showed that he had a serious side too, and Ben Nicholas managed to create a character who could deliver both comedy and tragedy in equal measure. Stingray’s entertaining antics mean that his friends, family, and the Neighbours viewers will never forget him.