Sunday 17 December 2017

Model 'scared to flee kidnapper on shopping trip'

Chloe Ayling speaks with the media outside of her house in Surrey, England Photo: RAI via AP
Chloe Ayling speaks with the media outside of her house in Surrey, England Photo: RAI via AP

John Dixon

A British model who was allegedly kidnapped in Milan was too terrified to try to get away from her captor when he took her shoe shopping and to buy groceries, her lawyer said.

Italian police said Chloe Ayling (20) was snatched last month by a group calling itself 'Black Death' and is believed to have been drugged and transported in a bag to a village near Turin, where she was held for six days as her captors tried to auction her online.

She was told people were watching her and she would be killed if she tried to flee, meaning she complied with what her captor asked her to do, her lawyer Francesco Pesce said.

He said: "She thought that the best idea was to go along with it and to be nice in a way to her captor, because he told her that he wanted to release her somehow and sometime and she thought that the best thing to do was not to go in conflict with him."

Mr Pesce dismissed claims Ms Ayling may have somehow been in on the kidnap.

She reportedly told police she had developed a trusting relationship and even shared a bed with her kidnapper, but she said he had not sexually assaulted her.

"I've been through a terrifying experience," she said. "I feared for my life."

A Polish man who lives in Britain was arrested last month on suspicion of kidnap and extortion.

Officials released a mugshot of the suspect, Lukasz Pawel Herba (30).

It is alleged the men tried to sell Ms Ayling online for more than €255,000 and demanded her agent pay for her release.

She was kept handcuffed in the village of Borgial, but was freed after six days and taken to the British Consulate in Milan, despite the ransom not being paid, police said.

Irish Independent

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