Commander Shepard encounters Newstead after fighting the geth that are present in the tunnels. Newstead acts strangely: as he talks to Shepard, he occasionally screams in pain, maniacally laughing at his suffering. When a puzzled Shepard asks Newstead about this behaviour, Newstead cheerfully responds that he is "just invoking the master's whip!" Shepard's squad conclude that he is insane. If Shepard asks Fai Dan about Newstead, he replies that Ian is sick, and that he and the other colonists are unable to help him. When pressed on the matter, Fai Dan refuses to discuss the issue further.
Like the other Zhu's Hope colonists, Newstead has been infected with Thorian spores, and is being negatively reinforced into obeying the Thorian's wishes. However, he seems extraordinarily strong willed, and able to tolerate the pain. Despite the agony, he insists on attempting to tell Shepard about the Thorian, saying the geth are a "thorn in the side of the -" and describing his fight as like "running through a thorn bush", before the pain overwhelms him.
During the assault on Zhu's Hope, Newstead is among the colonists the Thorian rallies to defend itself, having come up from the tunnels. After the Thorian's death, Shepard can speak to Newstead in the medical room of the freighter if his life is spared. Ian is relieved and grateful to have his own mind back.
- Ian is voiced by Tim Conlon.