Vera Bennett is a senior officer at Wentworth Detention Center. She appeared in episodes 001 - 224.
Job At Wentworth Edit
Vera Bennett is Wentworth Detention Centre's first "nasty" officer. She has worked in prisons since she was 21. She doesn't put up with any of the inmates nonsense, and is always tough, nasty, and hard with them. The inmates as a result, call her Vinegar Tits, but rarely to her face. She was informed of her nickname by Franky Doyle, who blamed it on Bea Smith, causing Vera to immediately find Bea and her gang to inform them that she'll "fix the lot of them" if the nickname was ever mentioned by one more inmate.
Vera is rarely soft on a prisoner, seeing them all as animals, and filth, and openly referring to them as such, and unless ordered, she would never give anyone special treatment if it was not deserved for any reason. An extreme example of this was seen when Bea has a flashback to her daughters death, where Bea begged to be released to attend. Vera responded with a firm no, (although Vera wouldn't have the power to make such a decision, she seemed to take great delight in telling Bea.)
Vera was hardly respected by the inmates, yet, the inmates knew if they gave Vera too much trouble, Vera would only take great delight in handing out heavier punishments.
Although she was a good officer, she was by no means perfect, having gotten involved with her share of shady characters throughout the series. She befriended ex-screw Anne Yates, who introduced her to George Lucas. It wasn't long before Anne was in Wentworth on drug charges, and George was discovered to be a major playor in the drug world. When Vera eventually discovers the truth, George ties up Vera in her flat and goes on the run, so she is portrayed as a victim and so gets to keep her job.
She once went on a date with officer Jim Fletcher when he first started at Wentworth, but he reconciled with his wife soon after. Later she gets engaged to officer Terry Harrison who also turns out to be involved with gangsters and he is shot dead.
Governor of Barnhurst Edit
Vera left the series in Episode 224 when she was promoted to Governor of Barnhurst. Although a celebration was planned, Vera chose to make her exit quietly, although ungratefully, throwing a pet rock Heather "Mouse" Trapp gave her on the floor of the rec room. Maybe that is what she thought of her time at Wentworth?
Vera is mentioned constantly throughout the remainder of the show. It is mentioned in episode 536 after a riot at Barnhurst, when governor Anne Reynolds tells Meg that Vera is in hospital.
Vera is roughly 30-31 in Episode 001. She has been working in prisons since she was 21, and has spent a few years looking after her old and demanding mother. In the early episodes, we find out those years must have been hell for her. We learn Vera must have had nobody to confide in, due to the fact that her mother seemed to act quite normal and reasonable when other people were present, but in private her mother belittled Vera, describing her as being "old and hard" before her time. After her mother's death, she is free to begin exploring a personal life, but starts to realise that she has no friends besides the ones she works with. She also finds her mother's death, and some of the stresses of work make her turn into a alcoholic drunk.
At home, or for a night out, Vera seemed to hit the bottle hard, sometimes letting it affect her work. Countless hangovers occured. Then, an incident where she was called in to work while drunk and got her prison keys stolen, sent her into a panic and almost got her fired.
When Vera was at work, she looked fairly plain, with her hair pulled back into a tight bun, but outside of work, Vera was an attractive woman, but it seemed to be her misunderstanding of the men she knew, her attitude, and the fact that she got blind drunk when she went out alone, that seemed to cause her to have bad luck with men.
We also know that as a child, Vera liked to paint, but her mother considered it to be a waste of time.
Although Vera's love life was tragic at times, she seemed to get along well with Terry Harrison, however his untimely demise and the general circumstances surrounding his death cemented Vera's determination to win a role as Governor of Barnhust Prison, which she accepted. Vera gets injured during the Barnhurst riot (536).
Vera and her ColleaguesEdit
Much like with the inmates, Vera often clashed with colleagues, however she was good friends with Meg, despite their very different attitudes towards the prisoners. She naturally disliked Jim Fletcher as she felt a male officer had no place in a women's prison, and because he got the Deputy Governor's job that she had held before the Department demoted her to a position we later learn to be Chief Senior Prison Officer. The two did however go out for a drink after work one day, but nothing more came of this as Jim reconciled with his wife.
Vera often clashed with Governor Erica Davidson, over the way the prison was run. She felt the governor was too soft with the prisoners, and often fought for tighter security, but Erica Davidson rarely agreed with her.
Vera was well known for her extremely acidic and bitchy, but often highly accurate remarks about situations, inmates and colleagues.