The British man who hit two police officers in France last week was arrested in Groot-Bijgaarden yesterday. Gilles Blondeau of the Halle-Vilvoorde public prosecutor’s office reported this on Saturday. The man is known to British police as serial con man Robert Hendy-Freegard, on whom the Netflix documentary ‘The Puppet Master – Hunting the Ultimate Conman’ is based.
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Police had marched to the home of 51-year-old British man and his partner Sandra Clifton in Vidallat, in central France, last Thursday for a dog-breeding check. They found an illegal breeding of nearly 30 dogs. Initially, the police only found his partner, but a little later the Briton arrived with his car. When the officers asked for his papers, he accelerated and ran over two officers. Both officers landed on the hood, one of them suffered several fractures to the face.
Afterwards, there was no trace of the man. “The road police of East Flanders found the man, who had been signaled and against whom a European arrest warrant had been issued, on Friday afternoon in the same car with which the collision had happened,” said Blondeau. “After a short chase, the police were able to arrest the man in Groot-Bijgaarden. He was alone in the car. The Briton will be brought before the investigating judge, who will decide on his further arrest. After that, it is up to the council chamber to decide whether he will be handed over to France.”
Robert Hendy-Freegard is no stranger to the British court. In the 1990s – and until his arrest in 2002 – he posed as a British MI5 spy numerous times to defraud women. He used false names such as David Hendy and David Clifton. He thus managed to defraud the victims for a total of more than 1 million pounds. In 2005, Robert Hendy-Freegard was sentenced to life in prison for the fraud, theft and kidnapping of women. He was finally released in 2009 as he appealed this sentence. In 2015, the Briton settled in Vidallat with his partner, whom he met in 2011.
Many films, series and documentaries have been made about the case. ‘The Spy Who Stole My Life’ was released in 2005 by Channel Five. Earlier this year, the Netflix documentary ‘The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman’ was released. And in July of this year, ‘Rogue Agent’ was released, a film based on his life.
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