Monday 22 January 2018

Shane Dunphy: Whatever her story, this troubled girl needs help

The theories are that this young woman is either a lost soul or a manipulative fraud

Samantha Azzopardi
Samantha Azzopardi

Shane Dunphy

ON THE afternoon of Thursday, October 10, a child-like figure, dressed in ill-fitting clothes and behaving in an erratic manner, caught the attention of two gardai patrolling the O'Connell Street beat in Dublin's city centre.

The "true" story that emerged about the 25-year-old woman we now know as Samantha Azzopardi is almost as bizarre as the one she seems to have concocted. She is from Campbelltown in New South Wales, Australia, the daughter of Bruce and Joanne Marie, and has a lengthy criminal record.

She has been convicted of deception, and the files that were shared with the gardai related multiple incidents of Ms Azzopardi assuming up to 40 identities, often claiming to be an adolescent who had been sexually abused. She was, the Australian police admitted, extremely believable in this role.

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