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Serial conwoman Samantha Azzopardi kept an American tourist stranded in a remote cabin

Pictured: Samantha Lyndell Azzopardi 

A serial conwoman who has a history of inventing bizarre fake identities once kept a young American traveller locked in a cabin for eight days and got her thrown in jail. 

Samantha Lyndell Azzopardi was jailed for to two years in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday on fraud and child stealing charges, with a non-parole period of one year. 

With the 576 days she has already spent in jail, the compulsive liar could soon be released back into the community.

On the day of the sentencing, Emily Bamberger – who was duped by the conwoman while holidaying in Sydney at the age of 18 – said she felt ‘very empathetic and sad’ to hear about other families who were tricked like she was. 

Ms Bamberger met first Azzopardi at a hostel in 2014 when the fraudster was calling herself Annika Dekker.

She told her new friend that she was royalty who was kidnapped as a child and looked after by Interpol agents.

Ms Bamberger was skeptical but thought the fantastical tales were largely harmless, until she got an email from an address ending with @interpol.com by a man claiming to be Azzopardi’s ‘keeper’, according to news.com.au. 

The email, which was actually written by the conwoman, said the pair were being followed and should leave Sydney.

Alleged fake au pair Samantha Azzopardi admitted she defrauded families by lying about her identity

Alleged fake au pair Samantha Azzopardi admitted she defrauded families by lying about her identity 

LIFE AND TIMES OF A SERIAL CONWOMAN

In 2013, Azzopardi showed up in central Dublin claiming to be a teenage sex trafficking victim from Eastern Europe. It cost the Irish government hundreds of thousands of dollars before her true identity was exposed.

After being deported she showed up in Canada, where she said she was a victim of sexual assault and torture.

In Australia, she convinced a Perth family she was a Russian gymnast named Emily whose entire family had been killed in a murder-suicide in France.

She’s been caught in Sydney, passing herself off as a schoolgirl more than half her age.

According to the traveller, the email contained information about her that she had never told anyone in Australia.

‘It’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me,’ she previously told the publication. ‘She knew my family, my addresses.’ 

When she went to the RMS to get fake ID’s for herself and Azzopardi, she was terrified.

‘I’ve never felt so scared. They sent me some documents and we went down to RMS. I got a new ID, my name was Amy Fisher. I was freaked out, I thought “this is real”.’ 

Ms Bamberger has since questioned why she didn’t escape while she could, but said it was in her nature to want to help, so she travelled with her new friend to Brisbane.

One night, Azzopardi awoke complaining of a headache.

Ms Bamberger called an ambulance but when paramedics arrived, the conwoman told them she was 14 and the American traveller was her sister.

She was lost for words and went along with the fantasy, until police arrived, accused her of kidnapping and hauled her into an interview room and spent hours asking her questions.

‘They asked me if I thought I was in danger and I nodded yes but said no into the recorder. I spent two days in jail and they charged me with fraud over the fake ID. I was fined a lot of money.’

Azzopardi then fled her hospital bed with her catheter still in her arm and boarded a plane with Ms Bamberger back to Sydney.

Samantha Azzopardi has been sentenced in Melbourne over child stealing charges

Samantha Azzopardi has been sentenced in Melbourne over child stealing charges

She took the terrified American to the house where she grew up in Cambelltown in south-west Sydney, which the fraudster called a ‘safe house’.

For eight days, Ms Bamberger was kept in a cabin and not allowed into the main house.

She was denied access to wi-fi and could not tell her family if she was OK.

‘I can’t believe how creepy that was looking back on it,’ Ms Bamberger said. ‘Nobody knew where I was.’

When her tourist visa was about to expire, she flew to New Zealand to apply for a new one but was questioned heavily by border control in Australia and New Zealand.

Upon arrival back in Australia, she was deported and has never set foot in the country again. Azzopardi still has all her belongings, including her $1,000 camera. 

Samantha Azzopardi (pictured) isfrom Sydney's southwest

Azzopardi (pictured) conned a 12-year-old school girl into performing a series of bizarre tasks for a fake voice over role

Samantha Azzopardi (pictured) has had more than 40 different aliases and has conned people for several years within Australia and around the world

At the sentencing on Friday, Magistrate Joanna Metcalf had little choice but to add to Azzopardi’s prison sentence after she refused to accept a community-based order.

The order would have ensured Azzopardi got treatment for her mental illness, which Ms Metcalf accepted contributed to her crimes. 

The court heard the compulsive liar planned to leave Victoria immediately upon her release, but refused to tell authorities who she would live with.

Doctors held little hope that Azzopardi would not commit more crimes once let loose back in the community. 

If granted parole, conditions can be placed upon her to ensure she continued to seek treatment for her mental condition. 

She told her lawyer she wants to live with an aunt in northern NSW, but has refused to hand over any specific details. 

Azzopardi had duped Melbourne couple Tom and Jazze Jervis into believing she was a qualified au pair named Harper Hernandez.

While claiming to be from a rich American family, Azzopardi had received $6,500 while working for the Jervis family for six months.

Samantha Azzopardi has been sentenced over a series of bizarre kidnappings in 2019

Samantha Azzopardi has been sentenced over a series of bizarre kidnappings in 2019

A French couple living in Melbourne was also duped by Azzopardi, believing she was an au pair named Sakah.

Police found Azzopardi with identification documents belonging to 19 different people, including a child, when they eventually caught up with her.

A doctor would later claim the fraudster suffered from a severe borderline personality and a condition called pseudologia fantastica, which resulted in ‘extreme lying’.

The matter was scheduled for a contested preliminary hearing after Azzopardi challenged the nature of the fraud she was alleged to have committed.

She orginally faced 55 charges, including child stealing, before agreeing to plead guilty on Monday to charges of child stealing, obtaining property by deception and theft.

Six witnesses were due to give evidence at the hearing, including Jazze and Tom Jervis, who employed Azzopardi between December 2018 and June 2019.

Azzopardi’s lawyer argued her client should have received a good behaviour bond due to the length of time she had already spent in custody. 

Samantha Azzopardi appeared in a Melbourne court on Friday and was sentenced to two years in jail

Samantha Azzopardi appeared in a Melbourne court on Friday and was sentenced to two years in jail

She had claimed Azzopardi never intended to harm or deprive the parents of the children. 

She was arrested in November 2019 at a Myer store in Bendigo – in country Victoria – where she allegedly took a 10-month-old girl and a four-year-old girl without their parents’ knowledge.

CCTV footage allegedly showing Azzopardi with the children was aired on Channel 9 at the time.

It showed Azzopardi wearing what appeared to be a school dress and sunhat, holding the baby while her four-year-old sister walked behind.

Police had alleged Azzopardi posed as an au pair and moved into the family home in Pascoe Vale just weeks before the CCTV was captured.

She allegedly told the children’s parents that she was taking them for a day trip, but ended up in Bendigo.

The alarm was raised when Azzopardi was allegedly spotted inside a mental health centre and detectives swooped.

The girls were returned unharmed in the bizarre kidnapping.

CCTV footage showing fake au pair - Samantha Azzopardi - in Bendigo with two children she took off with

CCTV footage showing fake au pair – Samantha Azzopardi – in Bendigo with two children she took off with 

At a hearing in June, the court heard Azzopardi was accused of calling herself Harper Hernandez and stealing the driver’s license of a woman who hired her to look after her young children. 

She allegedly helped the woman apply for a new passport but kept the original.

She was further accused of using the woman’s driver’s license to book into a motel as part of a second con, which saw her allegedly portray a woman named ‘Marley’ to convince a 12-year-old girl to undertake a series of bizarre tasks.

Azzopardi allegedly told the girl she was a casting agent auditioning for a voice-over role for an upcoming Disney Pixar movie in Sydney.

In 2013, Azzopardi showed up in central Dublin claiming to be a teenage sex trafficking victim from Eastern Europe. It cost the Irish government hundreds of thousands of dollars before her true identity was exposed. 

After being deported she showed up in Canada, where she said she was a victim of sexual assault and torture. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk