A bikini model has learned her fate for scamming a luxury hotel after previously making headlines for lying about sexual abuse.
Nine years after she falsely accused a tuk-tuk driver of rape in Thailand, a bikini model from Sydney has been convicted of defrauding a luxury hotel.
Stevie Bamford, the daughter of former rugby league international Peter Tunks, appeared at Downing Center Court in Sydney on Thursday to learn her fate after pleading guilty to a fraud charge in April.
The 30-year-old was charged with using another woman’s credit card last year to pay for a stay at the luxurious Hilton hotel on George St in Sydney.
She checked into the hotel on the evening of September 13 after making an online booking under the name “Teee Parkinson” to stay for three days, paying the $1,544 bill with another woman’s credit card.
Court documents show that Bamford stayed just one night, making use of the hotel’s facilities and allowing different guests to visit her room “for different periods of time”.
Her stay was cut short when the credit card owner notified the hotel manager that the payment was unauthorized and fraudulent.
The money was returned to the credit card owner, but Bamford was unable to pay for the stay.
When asked how she had paid for the hotel room, the Malabar resident claimed that an acquaintance had booked the stay and offered it to her when they were unable to use it.
She could not explain why her acquaintance would offer her a luxury hotel stay for free, according to the police.
The bikini model maintained her glamorous image in court on Thursday, sporting silver glitter eyeshadow and wearing a bright pink dress with pearl-encrusted kitten heels.
Bamford’s lawyer Jack Dunn told the court that his client’s fraud was an opportunistic crime.
“It was impulsive or isolated behavior. It lacked sophistication,” he said.
Mr Dunn said Bamford’s fraud consisted of a single transaction that ultimately had no impact on the victim, who suffered “no loss”.
The court was told that Bamford had “significant drug addiction and mental health factors” including symptoms of depression and a diagnosis for schizoaffective disorder.
Mr Dunn told the court that his client “has been hospitalized a number of times for drug addiction”. Court documents show that she was also admitted to a psychiatric facility earlier this year.
“She may have been unaware of the ramifications of her actions because of her mental health,” Dunn told the court.
Since she committed the luxury fraud, the court was told that Bamford had adhered to her medication and treatment. Her lawyer said Bamford had accepted responsibility for her actions.
“The perpetrator is not a violent person. She is someone who needs a lot of rehabilitation and support,” he said.
The court was told that two community correction orders had been violated when she defrauded the lavish Sydney hotel. One was an aggravated burglary and entry into an apartment in Eastlakes the previous year.
In March 2021, Bamford admitted that in 2020 he entered the unit with two men and a woman and stole up to $600 worth of goods, including a silver watch, water pipe and CCTV camera.
Court documents show she has been charged nine times in NSW since 2011, including assaulting a police officer and driving with ice and cocaine in her body.
Magistrate Juliana Crofts said “the court has a strong interest in ensuring that its orders are followed”, but noted that Bamford’s mental health was a mitigating factor.
Ms Crofts said she was “encouraged” by the assessment report of Bamford’s positive conviction and “positive prospects for rehabilitation”.
She convicted the 30-year-old and sentenced her to a year of supervised community corrections.
Ms Crofts also instructed Bamford to comply with her community treatment order and to continue with rehabilitation and support services.
The conviction comes nearly a decade after Bamford, aged 21, made international headlines for falsely claiming she was raped by a tuk-tuk driver in Thailand.
She told Thai police that she was returning from a night out with her boyfriend when the driver took her to a remote area and raped her while she was being held.
The bikini model admitted she lied to the police because she didn’t want her boyfriend to be mad at her for coming home late. She was found guilty of making a false claim in Phuket Provincial Court and sentenced to 15 days in a Thai detention center.
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