Alleged fake au pair challenges charges

Samantha Azzorpardi allegedly posed as a qualified au pair named Harper Hernandez.
Samantha Azzorpardi allegedly posed as a qualified au pair named Harper Hernandez.

Alleged fake au pair Samantha Azzopardi is challenging accusations she defrauded families by lying about her identity.

The 31-year-old Victorian woman is facing 55 charges including child stealing.

It's alleged she posed as a qualified au pair named Harper Hernandez, dishonestly obtaining $6500 in wages over six months.

She's also accused of posing as a nurse named Sakah and of possessing identification documents belonging to 19 different people, including a child.

Azzopardi, who is in custody, will face a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court in March next year.

Her lawyers are challenging the nature of the fraud she is alleged to have committed.

Magistrate Donna Bakos said lawyers appeared only to be identifying the use of a false name as the issue.

"It's not just the name. It's a lot more than the name that comprises the fraud," she said.

"It's how she presented herself, what she's presented herself to be."

She said Azzopardi had allegedly given different names to different people.

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

The court heard the couple are currently in Queensland and would like to attend the hearing if coronavirus restrictions allow.

The hearing is expected to take two days.

Australian Associated Press