A notorious British fraudster who was the subject of a recent Netflix documentary is wanted by French police for injuring two officers while fleeing an identity check, local authorities said Friday.
Martine Laporte, the mayor of Vidaylat in the sparsely populated Creuse region, told AFP that the con artist, Robert Hendy-Freegarde, had lived in the village since 2015.
On Thursday, labor inspectors, accompanied by police officers, inspected his kennel, where he breeds dogs with his roommate.
“While the police asked one of the partners to accompany them to the nearest station, the man started the car and hit the two officers before fleeing,” the Creuse regional police said in a statement.
One of the officers was hospitalized with a significant nose injury, police said, adding that the suspect fled in an Audi A3.
Hendy-Freegard, a 51-year-old former salesman and bartender, was dubbed the “Puppet Master” for his ability to control his victims.
In 2005, a London court sentenced him to life in prison for fraud, theft and kidnapping in an extraordinary trial involving seven victims whose money he used to enjoy luxury cars, expensive meals and five-star holidays.
But the kidnapping charges were later overturned on appeal and he was released from prison in 2009.
Earlier this year, he was the subject of the Netflix documentary The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman.
In it, the children of a woman believed to be his current partner, Sandra Clifton, said she disappeared after meeting him.
During the trial in London, Handy-Freegard is said to have lived by the motto “A lie must be big to be convincing.”
He convinced his victims to believe he was a British intelligence officer and they were on the run from the terrorists.
One of them, Sarah Smith, recalled instances such as being taken to a so-called “safe house” with a bucket over her head, hiding in cupboards to avoid visitors and spending three weeks in a locked bathroom with little food. , convinced that she will be shot by a sniper if she dares to leave.