Stevie Bamford: Sydney bikini model sentenced for defrauding Hilton hotel

Stevie Bamford: Sydney bikini model sentenced for defrauding Hilton hotel

A bikini model has learned her fate for defrauding a luxury hotel after previously making headlines for lying about being sexually assaulted.

Nine years after falsely accusing a tuktuk driver of raping her in Thailand, a Sydney bikini model has been sentenced for defrauding a luxury hotel.

Stevie Bamford, the daughter of former rugby league international Peter Tunks, appeared in Sydney Downing Center Court on Thursday to learn her fate after pleading guilty to a fraud charge in April.

The 30-year-old was charged after she used another woman’s credit card to pay for a stay at the luxurious Hilton hotel on George St in Sydney last year.

She checked into the hotel on the evening of September 13 after making an online booking under the name of “Teee Parkinson” to stay for three days, paying the $1544 bill with another woman’s credit card.

Court documents reveal Bamford only stayed for one night, during which she used the hotel’s facilities and had several guests visit her room for “various lengths of time”.

Her stay was cut short when the owner of the credit card notified the hotel manager that the payment was unauthorized and fraudulent.

The money was returned to the credit card owner, but Bamford couldn’t pay for the stay.

When questioned how she had paid for the hotel room, the Malabar resident claimed an acquaintance booked the stay and offered it to her when they were unable to use it.

She couldn’t explain why her acquaintance would offer her a luxury hotel stay for free, the police facts stated.

The bikini model retained her glamorous image in court on Thursday, with silver glitter eyeshadow and wearing a hot 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 conduct. It lacked sophistication,” he said.

Mr Dunn said Bamford’s fraud consisted of a single transaction that did not ultimately affect the victim, who suffered “no loss”.

The court was told Bamford had “substantial drug addiction and mental health factors”, including symptoms of depression and a diagnosis for schizoaffective disorder.

Mr Dunn told the court his client “has been admitted to hospital a number of times for drug addiction”. Court documents show she was also admitted to a mental health facility earlier this year.

“She may not have been aware of the consequences of her actions due to her mental health,” Mr Dunn told the court.

Since she committed the luxury fraud, the court was told Bamford had been compliant with her medication and treatment. Her lawyer said Bamford had accepted responsibility for her actions.

“The offender is not a violent person. She is someone who needs a lot of rehabilitation and support,” he said.

The court was told two community corrections orders were breached when she defrauded the lavish Sydney hotel. One of those was an aggravated break and enter into an apartment in Eastlakes the previous year.

In March 2021, Bamford admitted to entering the unit with two men and a woman in 2020, stealing up to $600 in goods, including a silver watch, water pipe and CCTV camera.

Court documents revealed that she has been charged in NSW nine times since 2011, including for assaulting a police officer and driving with ice and cocaine in her system.

Magistrate Juliana Crofts said “the court has strong interest in making sure its orders are complied with” but noted Bamford’s mental health was a mitigating factor.

Ms Crofts said she was “heartened” by the positive sentencing assessment report and Bamford’s “positive prospects of rehabilitation”.

She convicted the 30-year-old and sentenced her to a year-long supervised community corrections order.

Ms Crofts also directed Bamford to comply with her community treatment order and continue to engage with rehabilitation and support services.

The sentencing comes nearly a decade after Bamford made international headlines at only 21 years old for falsely claiming that she was raped by a tuktuk driver in Thailand.

She told Thai police she was coming home from a night out with her boyfriend when the driver took her to a secluded area and raped her while she was held down.

The bikini model admitted to lying to police because she didn’t want her boyfriend to be angry with her about 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 centre.

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