Leighton was the captain of the icebreaker Piper Maru. He was in command of the vessel in 2004 when it transported a Weyland Industries expedition to Bouvet Island, Antarctica in order to investigate the structures discovered under the ice there.
Leighton was an incredibly experienced seaman, having spent almost 40 years at sea. He was on the bridge of the Piper Maru discussing the expedition's progress with Stafford when Lex and Dr. Miller arrived aboard Weyland 14. When the expedition went ashore, Leighton remained in command of the Piper Maru and kept the vessel on station, awaiting the return of the team. However, a severe storm cut communications with the expedition, leaving them out of contact.
When the Yautja Mother Ship came in to drop of the three Young Bloods taking part in an initiation hunt, the ship flew right over the Piper Maru, rocking the ship with its wake and alarming Leighton. Despite tracking the unknown vessel heading straight for the expedition's base at Razorback Point Whaling Station, Leighton remained unable to contact the team on account of the weather, the ice build-up from which was in danger of capsizing his ship.
- Leighton is one of several characters in the novelization of Alien vs. Predator who do not actually appear in the film at all.
- Alien vs. Predator (novel)