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serial offender 'GPO Girl' who pretended to be trafficking victim pleads guilty to child stealing charges in Australia

In 2013, Samantha Azzopardi was dubbed the 'GPO Girl' after she was found wandering on O'Connell Street in a distressed state - apparently unable to speak English.

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Samantha Azzopardi (inset) cost the Irish state more than €250,000 when she turned up outside the GPO in Dublin in October 2013

Samantha Azzopardi (inset) cost the Irish state more than €250,000 when she turned up outside the GPO in Dublin in October 2013

Samantha Azzopardi (inset) cost the Irish state more than €250,000 when she turned up outside the GPO in Dublin in October 2013

A serial con artist who led gardaí to believe she was a victim of sex trafficking is to plead guilty to taking several children in Australia while pretending to be an au pair. 

In 2013, Samantha Azzopardi was dubbed the 'GPO Girl' after she was found wandering on O'Connell Street in a distressed state - apparently unable to speak English.

Gardai immediately began trying to find out who she was and believed she may have been a teenager from Eastern Europe who had been trafficked into the country.

However, following an investigation that cost over €250,000 and involved more than 2,000 hours, Azzopardi’s true identity was unveiled.

Gardaí secured High Court permission to release her photograph and a family member soon came forward to identify Azzopardi as a serial conwoman.

She was later deported and arrived in Canada where she claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse and manipulation.

Now, Azzopardi (32) is facing further legal problems in Australia.

She is before the courts conned several Victorian families into believing that she was a nanny named Harper Hernandez and took off with two children whose parents had fallen for her scam.

She was arrested in 2019 in Bendigo with the two children and was due to face a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, with witnesses including Tom and Jazze Jervis, who hired her as an au pair between December 2018 and June 2019.

However, the case resolved and prosecutor Kristie Churchill revealed Azzopardi would plead guilty to seven charges.

Churchill said that Azzopardi would plead guilty to three charges of child stealing and to obtaining $6250 by deception from the Jervis family.

Azzopardi is expected to also admit to theft of an iPad, handling stolen goods, and causing a false police report to be made regarding child welfare concerns and physical assault.

She did not apply for bail and is expected to return to court on April 27th.

In Australia, she posed as a 13-year-old named Harper Hart and enrolled at the Good Shepherd School in Sydney in 2016.

Azzopardi was arrested and sentenced in July 2017 to one year in jail after pleading guilty to four charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

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