Model who was jailed in Thailand for falsely accusing a tuk tuk driver of rape is convicted of assault after she scratched a police officer’s face during a wild brawl.
A model who was once jailed in Thailand after falsely claiming she was raped by a tuk tuk driver has been arrested during a wild brawl with police.
Stevie Rochelle Franceska Bamford, 26, was charged with assaulting police after officers attended a brawl at Darlinghurst in Sydney’s inner-city on Sunday night.
Bamford was hit with capsicum spray after she scratched the neck of a sergeant who had been trying to arrest her boyfriend at a party about 8.20pm.
The interior design student, whose father is rugby league great Peter Tunks, spent more than 12 hours in police custody before appearing in Central Local Court on Monday.
That experience came six years after Bamford made international headlines when she was jailed in Thailand for falsely claiming she had been raped by a tuk tuk driver in Patong.
Bamford, then 21, was found guilty in Phuket Provincial Court in June 2012 for making the claims and sentenced to 15 days in jail.
The sometime lingerie and bikini model had told Thai police she was raped by a tuk tuk driver while coming home after a night out with her boyfriend.
She alleged the driver had taken her to a secluded area and raped her while two other males held her down.
After several days of interrogation Bamford admitted she had lied to police because she did not want her boyfriend to be angry at her for returning late to their resort.
Bamford, from Maroubra in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, was allowed to finish her holiday before spending 15 days in the Baan Bang Jo detention centre in Thalang.
A senior Thai police officer said of Bamford’s claims: ‘This sort of thing could damage Phuket’s tourism industry.’
Bamford suggested on Monday it was coming to the aid of her partner at Darlinghurst on Sunday that led to her latest arrest.
Police were called to an address in Hill Street after reports of a brawl, according to a statement of facts tendered to court.
‘Multiple police were restraining a male when the accused approached police and yelled repeatedly,’ the statement said.
‘Police requested multiple times to move away from the area, which she refused to comply with.’
Bamford then pushed past two constables towards her partner, who was being restrained on the ground by Sergeant William Collins.
‘The accused grabbed at Sergeant Collins’s face and scratched the left and right side of his neck in an attempt to pull Sergeant Collins off the male,’ the statement said.
Sergeant Collins then used oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray against Bamford.
Bamford, who was on top of Sergeant Collins, rolled off the officer, was handcuffed and taken to Surry Hills police station where she told officers ‘I just got involved in something that I shouldn’t have.’
Solicitor Paul Cranney told Central Local Court his client was ‘extremely remorseful’ for what he described as ‘an ill-conceived set of events’.
While Bamford pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer she said the scratching was accidental and denied being intoxicated as police had alleged.