ZB

Fake Aussie cult victim's bold sex claim revealed

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 May 2022, 1:35pm

Fake Aussie cult victim's bold sex claim revealed

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Thu, 19 May 2022, 1:35pm

A serial liar told a psychiatrist she has no memory of posing as a teenage victim of sex assault or that she was in a cult, according to documents. 

Australian woman Samantha Azzopardi was yesterday ordered to serve a three-year community corrections order at the Picton Court, southwest of Sydney for her latest crimes. 

The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of making false representations, resulting in a police investigation, but avoided jail. 

As part of her corrections order, she must undergo mental health treatment or risk getting hauled back to court. 

She was also ordered to take medication as directed. 

She was asked to verbally consent to the lengthy order by magistrate Mark Douglass. 

"Yes," was her response. 

He labelled her offending "serious and significant" offences. 

In a psychiatric report tendered to the court, she claimed she had no memory of the latest crimes. 

"Holy crap, it's as if my day was wiped out when the police said I did something and that I could go to jail again," she said to the psychiatrist. 

"It's all very hard to believe." 

Samantha Azzopardi has more than 40 aliases used internationally and in Australia. 

Azzopardi claimed she was a teenager in a cult when she spoke to a youth worker at Youth off the Streets in November last year. 

She claimed she was 16 and her parents sent her from Brisbane to a man who sexually assaulted her, took photos and held her captive. 

In a bid to escape the man, she told the youth worker, she slept in Sydney's Hyde Park but returned because of bad weather, according to the documents. 

A police investigation started on November 22 after the youth worker reported it to the Child Protection Helpline. 

But when Azzopardi – using the alias Eleanor Harris – was due to meet with police, she changed her mind and was dropped off at an address in Rushcutters Bay. 

When police checked the address, the mysterious man did not live there and neither did the "teenager". 

A week later, she went to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and told a doctor a similar tale of sexual abuse, claiming she was 16, adding she was injected with a fertility drug against her wishes. 

The fraudster fled the hospital before she could be examined. 

The woman was arrested in December after she again called a youth worker. 

Before her sentencing hearing yesterday, she became emotional in the courtroom and her lawyer comforted her. 

She appeared to be hyperventilating, teary and was shaking before she was led into a separate room. 

The magistrate said her crimes were serious, could drain resources and cost thousands in relation to investigations. 

"These offences are founded in lies," he said. 

"All people have the capacity to lie, it's quite common." 

"This court has to determine whether the offender in this particular case was impacted by the condition she was living with or is she just a liar … who disrupts the community to a great extent," Douglass said. 

He accepted she was diagnosed with mental health issues, including a severe personality disorder, but noted she "has a capacity to commit serious offences" because of her criminal history. 

She has been charged with 99 domestic offences related to fraud and deception. 

Douglass also told the fraudster she should thank her lawyer Carolyn Shiels for her dedication to the case. 

"She's been a real trooper and had your best interests all the way through," he said. 

Samantha Azzopardi with her lawyer Carolyn Shiels, right, following her sentence at Picton Court on Wednesday. Photo / NCA Newswire 

Azzopardi was released from a Victorian prison just months ago after she was jailed for stealing and fraud offences. 

A magistrate in Victoria said she was a "disturbed young woman" and there appeared to be little motivation for the "bizarre" offending. 

Her crime spree came to an end in the Bendigo when she walked into a mental health clinic dressed as a schoolgirl with two young children in tow in November 2019. 

She told a worker she was a pregnant 14-year-old who was abused by her uncle but she was recognised and police were called. 

When arrested, she was found in the cosmetics section of a Myer store, holding a 10-month-old baby and with a 4-year-old child, and initially refused to share their names. 

The serial fraudster was asked if she would consent to a community corrections order in Victoria with mental health treatment, but instead completed her sentence in prison. 

Azzopardi came to international attention in October 2013 when Irish police released a photo of a mysterious young woman found wandering the streets of Dublin. 

She was dubbed "GPO girl" in the press and it was feared she was sex trafficked.