A Malaysian woman who was detained for blackmailing a Melbourne based couple into paying the cash for the return of a lost phone has been said that she will serve time behind the bars and be deported after the release. The phone had contained the irreplaceable precious photos of the couple’s 11 months-old dying daughter who was succumbed to the death from an undiagnosed neurological issue since her birth in April.
Appearing in the County Court on Thursday, Siti Nurhidayah Kamal, 25, pleaded guilty to blackmailing Jee and Dee Windross at the time when the couple were going through an extremely horrific time in their lives. Dee had lost her Samsung S8 phone at Chadstone shopping centre in April when her daughter Amiyah was struggling to breathe.
After the mobile was lost, the couple posted several posts in social sites appealing to return the phone as there were hundreds of irreplaceable pictures of the family.
Taking the advantage of the couple’s dire situation, Kamal had contacted Windross via WhatsApp telling them to give her $ 1000 in return of the phone. Otherwise, she would erase the photos and sell phone.
The duo had exchanged at least 158 messages, at last showing a tiny light of hope for the return of the phone.
However, later it turned out to be a hoax.
Kamal who had come to Australia on bridging visa had been struggling to make ends meet as an Uber Eats delivery rider along with her husband.
Defence lawyer Rahmin de Krester citing the incident ‘entirely opportunistic’ said that Kamal had written letters of apology to Windross family.
Kamal has been behind bars for six months since her arrest. She is likely to be released in February as Judge Gaynor awaits her psychological medical report. She will face the deportation after the release.
The phone, however, has not been found as yet. The couple had appealed to the public to return the phone after coming outside from the court.