Matt Freedman Ben Mitchell
Sergeant Matt Freedman 2008
Lived: Freedman apartment
Born: c. 1964
Marital Status: Cassandra (divorced)
Children: Simon and Tegan (biological); Donna (adoptive)
Family Tree: Freedman
Occupation: Police Sergeant
When journalists Elle Robinson and Susan Kinski were kidnapped by dangerous criminal Pete Ferguson, Elle's dad, Paul and Susan's husband Karl went to the hospital, to try and get Pete's address, knowing that he had recently been treated there. Unfortunately Paul, along with an unwilling Rebecca Napier broke into an office to get the information, only to be caught by nurse Jodie Smith, who contacted the police. Sergeant Matt Freedman was almost ready to arrest the pair, as Paul didn't want to involve the police, but Rebecca explained the situation and before long, the police were involved and, after a tense few hours, Ferguson was caught.
A few days later, and Matt was almost forced to arrest Rebecca again, this time for public brawling at a football game. But he soon had other things to worry about when he spotted his daughter Donna in the crowd, and she ran off. He caught up with her, and Rebecca, later at Charlie's Bar, and quickly pulled Donna off her boyfriend Ringo Brown, leaving Donna feeling like an idiot. While she cooled off, Matt chatted to Rebecca, explaining that Donna got her looks - and her temperament - from her mother, before announcing that he should get his daughter home. But Donna had other ideas and, while her dad was in the toilet, she snatched his keys and took Ringo for a joyride in his cop car. As they stopped in a secluded spot and climbed into the back seat, their night of passion was interrupted by Matt, who had tracked them down and pulled Ringo outside, forcing him to walk home in just his underwear. Donna was embarrassed and later, went to see Ringo to apologise, explaining that her dad treated her badly because she reminded him of Cassandra, his ex-wife and Donna's flighty mum, who had cheated on him numerous times. As they talked, Matt arrived and took his daughter home, telling her not to see Ringo again and when, the next day, Ringo suggested that the slow things down, and she couldn't get Matt to leave work early to talk to her, Donna decided to take her dad's car again.
This time, Donna found herself in big trouble when, distracted from the road by a text message from Ringo, she hit something, and found a dog lying in the road. She called Ringo, who came to help, and they managed to get the car fixed by their friend Lucas Fitzgerald but when it emerged that Donna had also hit the dog's owner Nicola West, who was lying unconscious in the gully by the road, she had to admit everything to her dad. Matt immediately told Donna and Ringo to keep quiet, before smashing his headlight and using it to threaten Lucas, telling him not to say anything, as he was going to swap the new headlight with the evidence from the accident scene. Journalist Elle Robinson quickly worked out what was going on, and with Lucas and Ringo, she made Donna see that she had to own up, and couldn't let her dad get away with this. But Matt caught her, Ringo and lawyer Toadie Rebecchi at the station, and managed to convince Toadie, and Donna's friends, that she was just looking for attention again. Donna, meanwhile, was just grateful to finally receive some attention from her dad, but when she then spotted him threatening Ringo in Lassiter's car park, she realised that the situation had to stop, and she went to the police and told them everything, before being accompanied home by Detective Alec Skinner, who arrested her father.
After being kept on remand overnight, Matt's lawyer got him released on bail the next day, and he headed home for a chat with Donna. He explained how much trouble he was in, particularly as he was certain to go to prison, and prison wasn't the best place for a cop to be. He told her that she would have to learn to cope without him, but she was still shocked to return home later that afternoon to find a note from her dad, saying that he'd skipped town, and asking her to cover for him for a few days until he'd got far enough away from Erinsborough.
• Ben Mitchell previously appeared in 1989, as a Coffee Shop customer who ordered a steak, despite Kerry Bishop's attempts to get him to order vegetarian. He also played the role of Brad Willis for one episode in 1990, before the role was taken over in 1991 by Scott Michaelson and between 1992 and 1993, he played Cameron Hudson
• Click here to read our interview with Ben
Biography by Steve