Italian court convicts Polish man for kidnap of British model Chloe Ayling
Italian court convicts Polish man for kidnap of British model Chloe Ayling
Chloe Ayling was kidnapped in 2017 after being fooled into taking part in
13 June, 2018, 22:49
A Polish man who kidnapped and held for ransom a 20-year-old British model has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison by an Italian court.
Prosecutors in the case of Lukasz Herbasaid Ms Ayling was drugged and kidnapped after she showed up at a Milan address for a modelling job, then held for six days at a farmhouse in the neighbouring Piedmont region before being released at the British consulate in Milan.
One officer giving evidence to the trial described how the model suffered "physical violence including being drugged, handcuffed and brutally transported inside a suitcase".
Herba denied guilt throughout the trial, and claimed that Ms Ayling agreed to the scheme to boost her career.
"I am very happy with the outcome, I want to thank the Court and all those who believed in what I said, from the staff to the police investigators up to the prosecutor.
It's hard if you're being painted as a liar and now she's able to say, "I know it's a freaky story but it's a true one".
And he went on to say Chloe "has quit modeling", explaining, "she has lost any faith and any trust in the industry after her ordeal".
It is alleged that his brother, Michal Herba, 37, was also part of the plot.
Prosecutor Paolo Storari said that Ayling´s version of events was "more than founded by the evidence provided", including a message from Lucasz to Michal in which he told his brother to "clean the boot of the auto so that her hair would not be found".
When no money came through, he released her, hoping he would show some kind of fake "mercy" which would build her feelings for him. In his initial statement to police, he said he did so out of sympathy for her role as a mother.
"Chloe was treated like something used to satisfy his evil narcissistic needs", prosecutor Paolo Storari said in court.
She said she had been told that she would be auctioned off online since she was not able to come up with 300,000 euro (£263,000) which the criminal "Black Death" group was seeking.
Italian prosecutors are seeking the brother's extradition from Britain.
In his closing arguments, Storari noted that Herba had invested at least 10,000 euros (A$15,503) in the kidnapping, taking into account real estate rentals and travel.
Her lawyer said the plot was to sell her for sex in an online auction unless a ransom was paid. According to the Sun, Herba was also ordered to pay £60,000 damages to Chloe for what happened.
Ayling's lawyer, Pesce, dismissed the attempt to discredit his client, saying "there have been films made about every crime in the world".
In London, Ayling's current agent Adrian Sington said the verdict was "vindication - her story is true".
Herba said he didn't tell police that Ayling was in on the scheme during his initial statements because he believed she would come forward herself and defend him.
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