Polish man gets 16 years for kidnapping British model Chloe Ayling

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2018

An Italian court on Monday found a Polish man guilty of kidnapping British model Chloe Ayling in July 2017.

Ayling says she was asked to take part in a photoshoot in Milan, but when she arrived was drugged, stuffed into a suitcase and held for six days at a remote farmhouse in Turin. After being lured to Milan, Ayling was knocked out with a drug, zipped inside a canvas bag and transported to a farmhouse, where she was handcuffed to the furniture for at least the first night, he said.

The kidnapping received global attention, which was only compounded by allegations that Ayling was privy to the plot in an attempt to build publicity for her career.

The 30-year-old threatened to auction her on the internet while trying to extort £230,000 from her agent Phil Green.

She is reported to have said in her police statement to Milan police: 'The man who was with me at the consulate - after my kidnapping at the studio and after two men took me to an apartment by vehicle - was the only one who held me prisoner for entire duration of my kidnapping, who watched over me, stopped me from going out or escaping, threatening me that they would kill me if I did so.

Ultimately, the kidnappers dropped her off at the British consulate in Milan, after she says they found out she has a 2-year-old son.

She told cops she feared for her life during the ordeal.

Ms Ayling said she was to be sold online by the gang, known as "Black Death", as a sex slave.

"I never hurt the girl".

But in his shifting story line, Herba also testified previously that he concocted the alleged criminal group and that his brother - not a Romanian criminal group - helped him in the scheme agreed to by Ayling. "If she felt forced verbally in any way, I am very sorry". In his initial statement to police, he said he did so out of sympathy for the fact she was a mother.

"It was evident that she needed help, because she was without money, I had become her friend and I was in love with her", Herba said, "I did everything to help her, all the worldwide scandal that resulted from it was only used to make her famous".

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.

Herba maintained his innocence throughout the trial, saying he was never violent with Ms Ayling.

"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 weird story but it's a true one", Sington told the BBC.

He had claimed she went with him willingly, which she denied. He said it was unrealistic that Herba would have done so only to get ransom money through a young woman without any means. 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 USA film producer, who pointed out Ms Ayling's story closely matched the plot of a movie By Any Means, that was released about eight weeks before the kidnapping.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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