#UK Robert Hendy-Freegard: Conman who ‘tried to murder French cop is caught in Belgium’ after manhunt #UKnews
A British fraudster who featured in a Netflix documentary earlier than allegedly making an attempt to murder a policeman in France has been recaptured after happening the run for eight days.
Officers in Belgium confirmed that Robert Hendy-Freegard, 51, was stopped in a automobile that had been travelling on a motorway close to Ghent on Friday afternoon.
‘Hendy-Freegard was arrested, and is now in custody,’ an investigating supply instructed France’s BFM information outlet.
He was final seen dashing away from his remoted nation house in Vidaillat, east of Clermont-Ferrand, final Thursday.
He lived there along with his associate, Sandra Clifton, 49, who was mentioned to have been ‘under the control’ of Hendy-Freegard for the previous decade.
Hendy-Freegard is mentioned to have ‘deliberately run down’ a policeman utilizing his Audi A3 earlier than fleeing, in accordance to a French judicial supply.
Conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, 51, (pictured) allegedly drove his Audi A3 into the cops whereas escaping from his hideaway in the agricultural village of Vidaillat in the sparsely populated Creuse area in central France
Hendy-Freegard was the topic of the hit Netflix documentary collection ‘The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman’
‘The suspect pointed his car at two gendarmes and drove towards them, seriously hurting one.
‘A search for the suspect, who is wanted for attempted murder of a public official, focused on France to begin with, and was then extended across Europe.’
Hendy-Freegard, who is nicknamed ‘The Puppet Master’ due to the management he exercised over his victims, was jailed in the UK in 2005 for kidnap by fraud, theft and acquiring cash by deception.
The crimes of Britain’s ‘Puppet Master’ who stole hundreds from victims
- 1993 – British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, 51, first struck in Newport, Shropshire, the place rich farmer’s son John Atkinson and his then-girlfriend Sarah Smith fell beneath his spell
- April 1993 – Hendy-Freegard abruptly introduced his MI5 ‘cowl was blown’ and each of them had to go undercover.
- 2000 – Hendy-Freegard stole hundreds from a lawyer he met by way of a automobile dealership. He proposed they usually went on holidays everywhere in the world.
- 2002 – He seduced an American little one psychologist with tales of how he had infiltrated a felony community and the way he had killed a felony who had threatened to expose him
- Scotland Yard and the FBI organized a sting operation. First, the FBI bugged the telephone of the American psychologist’s mother and father.
- 2005 – Hendy-Freegard was jailed for all times by a London Court for deception, theft and kidnapping in a rare trial that heard from seven victims he fleeced out of cash
- April 2007 – Hendy-Freegard appealed towards his kidnapping convictions and gained.
- 2009 – Hendy-Freegard launched from jail
- 2012 – He met Sandra Clifton on a relationship app and strikes in along with her and her youngsters
- 2014 – After reducing off communication along with her household, the couple disappear
- 2015 – Hendy-Freegard and Ms Clifton later moved to France and Martine Laporte, the mayor of Vidaillat, mentioned that the conman had been dwelling in the village since 2015
He is mentioned to use the identities David Hendy and David Clifton as he travels round Europe.
A infamous conman, Hendy-Freegard satisfied a collection of extremely respectable victims he was an undercover MI5 agent they usually have been IRA targets as a result of they knew him.
Several of his victims lived in hiding for years on finish. All of them ended up giving him cash – £1million he spent dwelling out his James Bond fantasy of quick automobiles, luxurious holidays and costly garments.
Over time he purchased himself seven BMWs in addition to an £80,000 Aston Martin Volante, Rolex watches and Savile Row fits.
As he grew to become extra assured, Hendy-Freegard managed up to 5 victims at a time, conserving them in varied ‘protected homes’ across the nation and utilizing a combination of allure and menace to maintain them beneath his spell.
His crimes all the time started in the identical manner. He would meet victims on social events or as prospects in the pub or automobile dealership the place he was working.
He would later reveal his ‘position’ as an secret agent for MI5, Special Branch or Scotland Yard working towards the IRA. He would win them over, ask for cash and make them do his bidding.
Then he demanded that they minimize off contact with household and pals, undergo ‘loyalty assessments’ and reside alone in poor situations.
All had to perform weird duties which he instructed them have been ‘assessments’ set by their supposed ‘spymasters’.
According to court docket proof, he satisfied seven girls and a person that he was an MI5 agent defending them from the IRA and compelled them to hand over up to £1million in money.
Hendy-Freegard’s kidnap convictions have been later overturned, and he acquired out jail in 2009.
He met Ms Clifton, a canine breeder in 2012 on a relationship app, and the pair stored 26 Beagles at their house in Vidaillat.
Ms Clifton’s youngsters from a earlier relationship – Jake, 25, and Sophie, 28 – allege Hendy-Freegard has satisfied their mom he is a undercover agent and is controlling her.
They inform the Netflix documentary The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman that that they had not seen their mom since 2014.
Hendy-Freegard, who was dubbed ‘the puppet grasp’, compelled his 10 victims to tackle weird ‘assessments’, together with one who had to survive on rations of 1 Mars Bar per week
Hendy-Freegard was jailed for all times by a London Court in 2005 for deception, theft and kidnapping in a rare trial that heard from seven victims he fleeced out of cash. Pictured: Hendy-Freegard with one in every of his victims, Maria Hendy
Police mentioned anybody who spots Hendy-Freegard ought to name the authorities instantly. Pictured: Detectives piece collectively their investigation about Hendy-Freegard in Netflix documentary ‘The Puppet Master’
Neighbours in France confirmed that Ms Clifton, from Wokingham, Berks, had lived a ‘controlled, hermit-style existence’.
‘She did not speak French, and made no attempt to mix with anyone,’ mentioned one, who requested not to be recognized.
‘It was pretty clear that she was only interested in interacting with her partner – somebody many of us recognised from Netflix’.
The semi-detached house that the couple share was raided by police and animal-welfare officers final Friday week, and the Beagles have been taken into care.
Hendy-Freegard would declare he was going to marry his feminine victims, who typically refused to cooperate with the police as a result of he had warned them that police could be double brokers or MI5 brokers performing one other ‘loyalty check’.
Sandra’s scenario bears a chilling similarity to that of Hendy-Freegard’s earlier victims — in explicit Sarah Smith, who went lacking for ten years after he satisfied her he was an secret agent working for the federal government.
Once he had brainwashed her, separated her from her household, worn out her identification and develop into her solely protector, she was totally at his mercy. She additionally handed over her life financial savings of £180,000.