British model Chloe Ayling's kidnapper Lukasz Herba sentenced to years in jail


A Polish man has been found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in jail for kidnapping a British model in Italy.

Though he was sentenced to 16 years and nine months in the slammer for the plot, Herba's lawyers maintained in their closing arguments that the kidnapping was a publicity stunt, citing an email from a USA film producer who said Ayling's story matched the plot of the 2017 film "By Any Means".

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.

British model Chloe Ayling, who made headlines around the world previous year, claimed to have been drugged and kidnapped after being lured to Milan on the false promise of attending a fashion shoot.

In August 2017 model Chloe Ayling went to what she believed was a photo shoot in Milan and instead was kidnapped and nearly sold into the sex slavery.

The judges recognised the British model's right to compensation, the amount of which will be determined at a later date, according to the Italian media.

Lukasz Herba held Chloe Ayling captive for six days in a farmhouse in the Piedmont region, after kidnapping her during what she thought would be a photo shoot. 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 freaky story but it's a true one'. In his initial statement to police, he said he did so out of sympathy for the fact she was a mother. "But it certainly was not as Chloe has described".

After the verdict, Ms Kolakowska expressed disappointment that the court did not take into account that Ms Ayling emerged from the ordeal unharmed, which would have limited the sentence to one-to-eight years. Final damages will be set by a civil court.

"Chloe was treated like something used to satisfy his evil narcissistic needs", prosecutor Paolo Storari said in court.

The young model told police she never tried to escape, even when she accompanied her kidnapper into a shoe store, because she was terrified and believed his threats that he was part of a bigger criminal gang.

But in his shifting story line, Herba also testified previously that he had concocted the alleged criminal group and that his brother was helping him in the scheme agreed to by Ayling.

When no money came through, he released her, hoping he would show some kind of fake "mercy" which would build her feelings for him.

He said: "She wanted to be a model and she wanted to go on reality TV".

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

During closing arguments, Herba's lawyer cited an email she received from a film producer, who pointed out that Ayling's story closely matched the plot of an American movie titled "By Any Means", released about eight weeks before the 2017 kidnapping.

Her lawyer said the plot was to sell her for sex in an online auction unless a ransom was paid.