A young mother from Malaysia has pleaded guilty to blackmailing the Melbourne parents of a dying girl with cash demands in exchange for the return of precious photographs.
Siti Nurhidayah Kamal, 24, who admitted to the charges in court today, tried to take advantage of grieving parents Jay and Dee Windross after Dee left her mobile phone in a shopping centre bathroom over the Easter long weekend.
The phone contained photographs of Mr and Mrs Windross's dying 11-month-old daughter Amiyah.
The couple made a public plea for the return of the phone. Kamal, who did not have the phone, sent messages to the couple demanding A$1000 for its return.
The Windrosses spent the last night of little Amiyah's life sending text messages to the Malaysian national.
Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard earlier this year that Kamal left her two children behind in Malaysia to move to a Springvale shadehouse in September 2018.
According to charge sheets, seen by news.com.au, the alleged blackmail attempt came after Dee made a plea for the return of the Samsung Galaxy 8, which she accidentally left inside a Chadstone Shopping Centre toilet.
After pleading with the public for the return of the phone, police allege the couple was approached out of the blue by Kamal.
The couple responded, but later learned Kamal did not have their phone.
Police will allege Kamal initially contacted Dee to say sorry for picking up her phone and failing to give it back.
It was alleged Kamal promised to put the phone in the couple's Boronia letterbox but wanted $1000 to be deposited into an account first.
"While trying to spend every emotional minute with Amiyah and giving her all of my attention, I'm also responding to someone claiming to have our phone with all the memories of her," Dee wrote on Facebook at the time.
Jay said the timing of the messages could not have been worse.
"Not only was it a complete and utter waste of my time, it was interrupting my final moments with my dying daughter."
In an emotional post after their daughter's death, Jay wrote:
"It is with utter sadness that Dee and I inform everyone that Amiyah Victoria grew her wings at 2.05am on Wednesday morning. Amiyah's last hours were spent peacefully and calmly, cuddling in Mummy's and Daddy's arms — which is what she loved most.
"Amiyah battled hard and fought from the day she was born. Her strength, her courage, and her unrelenting fight was on display from her first breath, all the way till her last."
Kamal was denied bail in April because she posed a flight risk.
News.com.au previously reported exclusively that Kamal is wanted for questioning in her home country regarding an airline ticket scam.
Several people who are owed thousands of dollars said they tried to buy tickets from a woman posing as an AirAsia employee who they believe is Kamal.
One police report lodged with Malaysian police in Kuala Lumpur accuses "Siti Nurhidayah Kamal" of taking money for tickets for six passengers to travel at a cost of 2895 Malaysia Ringgit ($A993).
Kamal will return to court for sentencing at a later date.