A court has been informed that an alleged catfish employed a “cast of personalities,” including a Home And Away star, to hoodwink and stalk women.
Lydia Abdelmalek testified and was cross-examined at her appeal hearing in the County Court of Victoria on Monday.
In 2019, the 32-year-old was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for six charges of stalking, but he challenged the verdict right away.
She allegedly stalked and convinced women she was involved with the soap star using numerous online personas, including that of Home And Away actor Lincoln Lewis.
Crown prosecutor Angela Moran grilled the Melbourne lady about the materials she handed her, which included tweets from her alleged victims to persons they thought were romantically involved with them.
Ms Moran questioned, “What you’re doing is constructing a narrative to documents that are entirely innocent in an attempt to establish you didn’t do these crimes.”
Ms Abdelmalek responded, “That is wrong.”
After asking if Ms Abdelmalek understood what the term “gaslight” meant, Ms Moran explained that a “cast of characters” was allegedly used to torment the victims.
Ms Abdelmalek, a psychology student, testified that she had engaged with a fictitious Lincoln Lewis on Facebook as well.
She told the court that she was seeking acting coaching from a Facebook account claiming to be Home And Away heartthrob Mr Lewis.
She explained that in late 2013, after offering to pay the “actor” for his assistance, she sent $200 into one of her alleged victim’s bank accounts.
“He gave me a bank account and said he didn’t want the money but that he knew a single mother who was struggling and that I should put the money in that account,” Ms Abdelmalek said.
Ms Abdelmalek told the court that she no longer had a record of the conversation because the bank details were passed on from that account.
She allegedly transferred $200 to her alleged victim’s account at a bank, but claimed she got the name from the teller and the details from a Facebook account she later discovered was fake.
She told the court that when she realised she wasn’t talking to the Dancing With the Stars hunk, she looked up the other woman’s name online and saved photos of her.
“When I realised the Lincoln Lewis I was speaking with was a fraud, I looked her up on Facebook, and those are the photographs on my iPad.” “I don’t disagree,” she stated.
The alleged victim earlier told the court that she was working with authorities to catch her stalker and that she had asked the online persona she suspected of being her stalker to provide her money for a shattered phone screen.
On Monday, Ms. Abdelmalek denied stalking her claimed victims.