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Serial fraudster 'GPO Girl' Samantha Azzopardi pleads guilty to child-stealing in Melbourne court

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

Samantha Azzopardi

Samantha Azzopardi

A serial con artist who led gardaí to believe she was a victim of sex trafficking has pleaded guilty to three counts of child stealing.

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.

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

She was deported but has since fallen foul of the law in Canada and is now facing serious criminal charges in her native Australia.

The 32-year-old appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court today where she pleaded guilty to three counts of child stealing and obtaining property by deception and theft.

Prosecutor Kristy Churchill read a summary of the case, stating that Azzopardi posed as a 17-year-old nanny named Harper Hernandez and was hired as an au pair by Tom Jervis and his wife Jazze in June 2018.

Ms Jervis became suspicious of Azzopardi and terminated her employment after 26 weeks but found that her iPad and driving licence had been stolen by Azzopardi, according to local media reports of the court hearing.

During this time, Azzopardi received a total of $6,500, over which she was later charged with obtaining property by deception.

Azzopardi also duped a family into thinking she was a talent scout named Marley who would accompany their daughter to an audition.

Police alleged that while the girl was in her care, Azzopardi took her to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the office of Victoria Legal Aid and to a Centrelink office interstate.

Court documents say Azzopardi “by fraud took a child under the age of 16 years with intent to deprive the mother, step-father, father and step-mother of the possession” of the girl.

In October 2019, a family living in Melbourne employed Azzopardi as a nanny after finding her via an au pair Facebook page.

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Azzopardi told them that her name was Sakah, she was aged 18 and was a qualified carer of children. She later moved into their family home.

A month later, she was arrested in Bendigo with the family’s two young daughters.

The girls were returned to their parents unharmed and Azzopardi was charged with two counts of child stealing.

Azzopardi originally planned to fight the charges, but during a court hearing in March, her lawyer Jessica Willard told the court that her client would be pleading guilty to three counts of child stealing.

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