Netflix conman Robert Hendy-Freegard appears in court in France

The Briton, who was the subject of a Netflix documentary, is being held in Limoges in connection with the attempted murder of gendarmerie officers

A photo of Robert Hendy-Freegard
The infamous conman has appeared in court in France, and a writer familiar with his history and case has predicted that this attempted murder case will be ‘his downfall’
Published Last updated

The infamous British conman Robert Hendy-Freegard, who was the subject of a Netflix documentary, has this week been placed in criminal detention, and charged with the attempted murder of public officials. He risks life in prison.

The 51-year-old is accused of purposefully running over two gendarme officers with his vehicle, while they were carrying out an inspection of the dog breeding facility run by his alleged partner, Sandra Clifton, in Vidaillat (Creuse).

Ms Clifton’s children claim she is one of the conman’s victims. It is also suspected that the dog farm is itself a type of scam.

Mr Hendy-Freegard then sped off and disappeared, leaving the gendarmes seriously injured.

After going on the run, Mr Hendy-Freegard was finally arrested on September 2 near Brussels, after a warrant for his arrest was issued in Europe.

Read more: British Netflix conman wanted for attempted murder in France is caught

The Belgian authorities delivered him to France on October 17, where he was presented before a judge in Valenciennes, before being transferred to the detention centre in Limoges on October 20.

The judge in Limoges ordered that he be placed under criminal detention. In a statement, the prosecutor said: “This criminal detention order has a duration of one year and may be renewed.”

Mr Hendy-Freegard, who is also known by the name David Hendy, is the subject of a recent Netflix documentary called The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman and a Netflix feature film called Rogue Agent.

He is a notorious fraudster who runs elaborate scams to trick victims into giving him money.

Mr Hendy-Freegard was sentenced to life in prison in the UK in 2005 for theft, deception, and kidnapping-by-fraud, having been accused of extorting £1million from his victims. He has been dubbed ‘The Puppet Master’ by Scotland Yard.

However, he was released in 2009 after the kidnapping sentence was quashed on appeal.

He has run several intricate scams in the past, including tricking victims into giving him money by posing as an Mi5 agent and making them believe that they were being tracked by the IRA and had to flee.

Michael Bronner, who co-wrote the film Rogue Agent and who has been following Hendy-Freegard’s case for over 15 years, previously told The Connexion that he thinks the investigation into attempted murder of a police officer will be the conman’s downfall.

Related articles

Puppet Master: UK conman appeals against handover to French police

French mayor raised alarm over British ‘Puppetmaster’ conman in 2018

Briton on run from French police linked to Netflix true crime drama