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Kidnap conman and former car salesman jailed for life

A former car salesman from Blyth, Nottinghamshire, has been jailed for life for kidnap, theft and fraud after a series of elaborate deceptions in which he convinced his victims he was an MI5 agent.

Robert Hendy-Freegard told his eight victims he was a spy and that they were being hunted by the IRA. He conned the six out of £1m by claiming he could protect them.

He used the cash he took from his victims to fund a luxury life of top-of-the-range cars, designer suits, expensive meals, and five-star holidays.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard that Hendy-Freegard turned most of his victims into virtual slaves over a 10-year period.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Deva Pillay said: "You are an egotistical and opinionated confidence trickster who has not shown a shred of remorse or compassion for the degradation and suffering to which your victims were subjected."

He said it would be March 2013 before he could expect to be considered for parole.

34-year-old Hendy-Freegard denied 24 charges against him, but was found guilty of two counts of kidnap, 10 of theft and eight of deception. He was cleared of two kidnap counts, one of theft and one of making a threat to kill.

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