Kidnapper's conviction seen as vindication for United Kingdom model

Kidnapper's conviction seen as vindication for United Kingdom model

Kidnapper's conviction seen as vindication for United Kingdom model

An Italian court has convicted a Polish man of kidnapping British model Chloe Ayling for ransom, and sentenced him to 16 years and nine months in prison.

Ms Ayling, of Coulsdon, south London, said she was drugged and bundled into a suitcase after arriving at a Milan address for a modelling job.

The words of model Chloe Ayling's lawyer after a man from the Black Country was jailed in Italy for kidnapping her and holding her captive for six days.

One officer giving evidence to the trial described how the model suffered "physical violence including being drugged, handcuffed and brutally transported inside a suitcase".

During closing arguments, Herba's lawyer cited an email she received from a film producer, who pointed out that Ms Ayling's story closely matched the plot of an American movie titled "By Any Means", released about eight weeks before the 2017 kidnapping.

"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 means now she can get on with her life - she's able to say, "I know it's a freaky story but it's a true one".

Trying to establish a bond, Herba also told Ayling he would cover 250,000 euros and she would have to come up with just 50,000 euros. Her lawyer said the plot was to sell her for sex in an online auction unless a ransom was paid.

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He said he was paid £500,000, found out the Romanians meant to kidnap her, and backed out of the plan.

Herba told the court: "I was in love and I was hoping once her fame took off she would repay me with feelings and we would share the money". In his initial statement to police, he said he let her go out of sympathy for her role as a mother.

The young model told police she never tried to escape, even when she accompanied her kidnapper into a shoe store, because she was terrified and believed his threats that he was part of a bigger criminal gang.

He eventually alleged that Ayling had gone with him willingly - a claim Ayling strenuously denied - and that she was complicit in the plan all along.

The Italian court is also seeking extradition for Herba's brother Michal over the kidnapping.

She said Herba showed her photos of other girls who were reportedly being sold over the deep web. According to the Sun, Herba was also ordered to pay £60,000 damages to Chloe for what happened.

During closing arguments, his lawyer, Katia Kolakowska, cited an email she received from a U.S. film producer, who pointed out that Ms Ayling's story closely matches the plot of a movie entitled By Any Means, which was released about eight weeks before the 2017 kidnapping.

Ayling's agent Adrian Sington said the ruling was vindication for his client. "It's hard if you're being painted in the press as a liar, and now she's able to say, "I know it's a freakish story, but it's a true one".

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