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Escort robbed of thousands of dollars in Launceston hotel room by criminal with 'appalling history'

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Launceston escort robbed of $6,000 by criminal with 'appalling history'. Image / Freer

After stealing thousands of dollars from an escort in a Launceston hotel room, a serial offender with a history of violence and dishonesty has been sentenced to four months behind bars.

James Peter Sampson, 35, pleaded guilty last week in the Supreme Court to the incident at an unnamed hotel on August 21, 2021.


The court heard that Sampson and another man, referred to as ‘D’, went to the room where the woman was working.

‘D’ initially entered the room and demanded a 10% “protection” fee from the woman for “doing business”, which she refused.

He then pressured her for money, suggesting she withdraw it from an ATM.

The Launceston Supreme Court. Image / Pulse

The woman’s boyfriend, who had been hiding in a cupboard, intervened and told ‘D’ to leave, leading to a verbal altercation and the woman handing over $500.

‘D’ then called Sampson for assistance and, having followed the sound of yelling and screaming, Sampson joined D in the room to demand more money.

The woman handed over her handbag containing around $5,500 in cash, along with her house and car keys, after it was implied that ‘D’ had a firearm.


Police identified Sampson through a photo board procedure and arrested him in early September.

He initially told police he was waiting outside the hotel but received a call from D’ saying someone had “jumped out of the cupboard” and asked for help.

Sampson admitted to witnessing an argument about money and clients, being paid $200-$300 for his assistance and seeing ‘D’ take the woman’s handbag, but claimed he didn’t know how much money was inside.

Justice Tamara Jago said Sampson has an “appalling history” of prior convictions dating back to his youth for dishonesty and violence, including aggravated burglary, assault, receiving stolen property and perverting the course of justice.

“It is fair to say that you have been consistently before the courts for crimes of dishonesty and violence,” Jago said.

Risdon Prison. Image / Pulse

“You have been sent to prison numerous times … nothing really seems to have changed.”

Jago said that while Sampson claimed his time in custody had given him cause to reflect and a wish to be a better father to his children, his prospects of rehabilitation were uncertain.

“Whether that is ultimately achieved is a matter for you,” she said. “I suspect it will require considerable commitment on your part given your history.”

Taking into account Sampson’s guilty plea and the time he has already spent in custody, Jago sentenced him to four months in jail from July 2, 2024.

A to-be-determined compensation order was also made in favour of the victim.

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