Castlemaine teenager’s false claim a ‘burden’

A teenager who lied to police about being kidnapped and assaulted, then fabricated Facebook “friends” to support her story, has been ordered to compensate police for their wasted time.

Stefanie Camilleri, 19 of Castlemaine, faced the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday pleading guilty to one count of making a false report to police.

Prosecuting, Leading Senior Constable Dave Somerton said Camilleri was in the Melbourne CBD when she called triple zero about 9pm on May 17 last year, requesting police assistance.

Leading Senior Constable Somerton said police found Camilleri covered in superficial burns and she was immediately taken to hospital.

When questioned by police Camilleri said she had taken the train to Melbourne with a friend when she was accosted by a group of people who wanted to assault her. She said they forced her into the boot of a car at Southern Cross station and took her to a building where they assaulted her by using a file to scrape across her face, arms and torso. She said she was then force-fed 20 Nurofen tablets and passed out.

Leading Senior Constable Somerton said police launched an investigation into Camilleri’s allegations, accessing the Facebook sites of friends the teenager said would corroborate her evidence.

He said police found messages referring to the alleged assault, but further investigation showed these “friends” and their Facebook profiles had been fabricated by Camilleri. Leading Senior Constable Somerton said CCTV footage from Southern Cross also showed Camilleri leaving the station alone.Magistrate Bruce Cottrill said false reports like Camilleri’s placed a “burden” on the community.

Mr Cottrill ordered Camilleri pay $1048 in compensation to Victoria Police. He also placed her on a 12-month community correction order without conviction.