Sampieri told psychologist 'what they wanted to hear'

The judge, who sentenced Anthony Sampieri to life imprisonment for the violent sexual assault of a young girl at Kogarah, was critical of a psychologist's report which paved the way for the rapist's earlier parole.

Sampieri was sentenced in July 2013 to seven years jail, with a non parole period of four years, for aggravated sexual assault and other offences involving a 60-year-old woman.

He was released on parole in September 2017 and within a year had embarked on a terrifying campaign of offensive phone calls to women before his attack on the seven-year-old girl in the toilets of a Kogarah dance studio in November 2018.

Judge Paul Conlon, who sentenced Sampieri in Wollongong District Court in 2013, was on the bench again for the second case, and handed down the maximum penalty of life imprisonment without a non parole period.


In his judgment on Wednesday, Judge Conlon referred to a report by a psychologist, who said Sampieri had taken part in a sex offender program and had advised the "self management" measures he would take to ensure he did not engage in unhealthy sexual behaviours.

"With due respect to the well intentioned mental health professional, it appears to me that many of the statements referable to 'self management' are influenced by the subject telling the professional what they wanted to hear," Judge Conlon said.

The judge said the psychologist had concluded Sampieri's overall participation in the program was positive.

"Given the enormity of his offending in the 12 months after his release to parole, the positive hope in terms of his ongoing rehabilitation and his ability to 'self manage' [was] in my view grossly over estimated," Judge Conlon said.

The judge said the "horrific nature" of Sampieri's actions while on parole and the risk of him reoffending in the future had to be considered in the sentence imposed.

Police established that in the three months before the Kogarah attack, Sampieri made 94 phone calls to women aged between 18 and 82, including real estate agents, marriage celebrants, psychologists and receptionists, many of whom advertised their services online or in person.

During the calls, he would use offensive language or describe offensive acts.

He would commence each conversation in a "normal fashion" about the business before going on to speak in a grossly offensive manner.

A psychologist's report in 2019, which was essentially the same as that provided during his 2013 sentencing, said Sampieri was born and raised in Sydney.

His parents were of Italian/Egyptian background. He has a brother four years his junior.

The family settled in the northern beaches area, where his parents operated a small mixed business.

There were no familial problem with substance abuse, criminality or mental illness.

Sampieri said his father was a harsh disciplinarian, administering beatings as punishment. However, on another occasion, Sampieri said his father was "only emotionally abusive".

He said he was well cared for in the home but was never close to his father.

His parents separated when he was 13 and he chose to live with his mother.

He attended a Christian Brothers high school in Manly before moving to Killarney Heights High School where he left following year 10 in 1980.

He did not return to study and has no qualifications.

After leaving school, he struggled to find and maintain employment.

He did not leave the family home till he was 24, although he has returned to live with his mother at various times during his adult life.

He was living in his mother's one bedroom Kogarah unit, sleeping in the lounge room, at the time of the dance studio toilets attack.

His longest employment appeared to be as a youth worker between 1993 and 1996 in the ACT.

He has not worked in the past 10-15 years and has mostly relied on Centrelink payments.

He contracted Hepatitis C and as a result received a disability support pension.

Sampieri's substance abuse started when he began drinking alcohol at 12 and using cannabis at 13.

He began using amphetamines intravenously at 16 and graduated to heroin at 17. His longest period of abstinence is three years.

Sampieri participated in several drug rehabilitation programs but continued to relapse.

Methamphetamine has been his drug of choice over the past 15 years.

He said he abstained during his prison sentence but relapsed after six months on parole.

Sampieri said he was sexually abused at the age of 10 by a teenage female friend.

Judge Conlon said this could "not be suggested as a reason that a 54-year-old has a desire to re-establish control and dominance in respect of his seven-year-old victim".

Sampieri was diagnosed with the most common form of liver cancer in 2018. A doctor estimated he has 60 per cent chance of survival for five years.

The most recent medical report stated Sampieri was largely free of symptoms except for mild pain in the liver region.