Polish man sentenced to over 16 years in prison for kidnapping model

     VICTIM She spoke about her ordeal on Good Morning Britain

GMB VICTIM She spoke about her ordeal on Good Morning Britain

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

Herba was arrested after releasing Miss Ayling to the British consulate.

Ms Ayling said in her original statement to police that she was held captive and never left the remote farmhouse dwelling where she was being detained.

Since returning to Britain, Ayling has given a number of media interviews in which she said she was drugged, gagged, bound, stuffed into a bag, put into the boot of a auto and driven to a village near Turin.

Defendant Lukasz Herba denies guilt and claims that Ayling agreed to the scheme to boost her career.

Italian law foresees a sentence of 25 to 30 years for kidnapping and extortion, but prosecutors asked the court in Milan to make allowance for the short duration of the abduction and a narcissistic personality disorder from which Herba was said to suffer. Final damages will be set by a civil court.

"I was in love and I was hoping that once her fame took off that she would repay me with feelings and we would share the money", he said.

Ms Ayling claimed she was snatched after being lured to a fake modelling shoot in Milan before being bundled into the boot of a auto and held at a remote farmhouse.

She was held at a farmhoue in the region of Piedmont for six days. In his initial statement to police, he said he did so out of sympathy for the fact she was a mother.

Ms Ayling told investigators that she did not try to escape, even when she accompanied Herba into a shop to buy shoes, because she was terrified, believing his threats that he was part of a bigger criminal gang that had eyes on her constantly. In court testimony, Herba said he invented a group he presented as behind deep-web auctions of women.

Italian prosecutors are seeking the brother's extradition from Britain.

During closing arguments, his lawyer, Katia Kolakowska, cited an email she received from a USA film producer, who pointed out that Ayling's story closely matches the plot of a movie titled "By Any Means", that was released about eight weeks before the 2017 kidnapping. She said she would appeal. He said it was unrealistic that Herba would have done so only to get ransom from a young woman without any means.

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