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Con-woman 'GPO Girl' abandons appeal against sentence for string of offences including child stealing

Samantha Azzopardi first came to international attention eight years ago when gardai released a photo of a mysterious young woman found in Dublin

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Samantha Azzopardi

Samantha Azzopardi

Samantha Azzopardi

A woman dubbed the ‘GPO Girl’ after she was found wandering on O'Connell Street in 2013 has abandoned an appeal against a sentence handed down in Australia for a string of offences. 

Samantha Azzopardi first came to international attention eight years ago when gardai released a photo of a mysterious young woman found in Dublin who was apparently unable to speak English.

She was outed as a serial con-woman when gardaí secured High Court permission to release her photograph and a family member soon came forward to identify Azzopardi.

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

She was jailed for two years earlier this year in Australia after pleading guilty to a string of offences including child stealing, theft and obtaining property by deception.

She was immediately eligible for parole at the time of her sentence because she spent more than 570 days behind bars.

The 33-year-old was due to appeal her sentence in the County Court of Victoria on Monday but her lawyer announced it would not be going ahead.

“We don’t wish to proceed,” defence barrister Jessica Willard told the court.

The appeal was abandoned and Ms Willard said her client consented.

Azzopardi did not appear during the brief hearing.

When she appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court in May she pleaded guilty to three counts of child stealing and obtaining property by deception and theft.

Her latest crime spree ended when she walked into a mental health clinic in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo dressed as a schoolgirl with two young children in tow in November 2019.

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Azzopardi claimed to the mental health worker she was a pregnant 14-year-old girl who had been abused by her uncle.

A worker recognised the notorious fraudster and called police. She was arrested in the cosmetics section of a Myer department store with a 10-month old and a four-year-old child.

She conned the children’s French parents into thinking she was a professional au pair and told them she was taking them for a picnic.

When she was arrested she refused to give her details or the children’s names to officers, gave cryptic responses and locked her phone to prevent access.

“You are a disturbed young woman,” magistrate Johanna Metcalf said when handing down her sentence in May.

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