“The Puppeteer”, the series that Netflix has dedicated to him.
Robert Hendy Freegard said he was a British intelligence agent, that his head had a price and was wanted by the IRA or the Polish mafia. Even that he was an influential figure in the media, or that he was a powerful businessman. The story has changed as the victim has changed.
Roberto he was such a particularly good scammer at deception that Netflix dubbed him “The Puppeteer“and dedicated his documentary to him. This week he was captured by the Belgian police, after an arrest warrant ordered in France to be run over and escaped by two gendarmes in an Audi A3. A leak.
The story of Freegard was told in the documentary “Who pulls the strings: in the footsteps of the greatest impostors”, where some of his victims and relatives tell how he ruined their lives crosses a man who, through the lie, has pocketed more than 1.3 million dollars from seven women and a man who believed him.
Born in Derbyshire, England, the con man worked in a bar or car dealership. There he gained the trust of several ‘targets’, which he then entered with a story. The main one was that he was a secret agent of MI5, involved in an undercover mission where he pretended to be a simple salesman of cars. He turned the story upside down. And he was always in danger, so he always needed the money.
When they refused the threat was always that dangerous things could happen to the families of the victims, who were already involved either with Polish gangsters, Irish terrorists or some other invisible enemy. With that deception he managed to keep a woman prisoner for almost ten years, who financed herself by asking for money from her inner circle.
Maria Hendy spent eight years with him and had two daughters. Not only but also forced her to live in a single room minimum in the city of Sheffield, controlling all their movements. At the same time, he gifted himself with a series of expensive cars, a Rolex watch, handmade clothes and luxury shoes.
To Elizabeth Richardson, for example, with the promise of a marriage that would never come, she returned force her to sleep on the street, live on chocolate bars and tap water from the square. He forced his victims to go through difficult tests to prove that they could be trusted and his James Bond secrets.
He was a manipulator, cruel and psychopathic, who psychologically abused those close to him, according to the documentary. They baptized him “The puppeteer”. For The Guardian, he was one of the finest liars the police have ever encountered.
Freegard was arrested in 2002 at Heathrow Airport. In 2005, a British court sentenced him to life imprisonment on two charges of kidnapping10 of theft and 8 of deception, in an extraordinary process in which seven people were heard talking about how their money was wasted on high-end cars and luxury vacations
The kidnapping charges were later overturned on appeal, for which he was released from prison in 2009. Since then, it was believed that he lived under another name and in pairs with a woman named Sandra, whose family reports that she is missing and left to cheat with Freegard
In February, a retired couple living near the house saw the Netflix documentary, recognized it, and contacted their daughter online. A few months ago the film ‘Rogue agent’ was released, based on the true story of his deceptions.
How the puppeteer fell
The crook was arrested on Friday near Brussels. Freegard had been breeding dogs illegally and lived intermittently in Vidaillat, central France, since 2015, according to local authorities.
On August 25, French workplace and animal rights inspectors came to his home with police officers to examine the premises where the dogs lived, but the scammer pdriving his Audi A3 and ran away, running over two agents before darting away.
Both were injured and one had to be treated in the hospital for a nose injury. Now, Freegard is accused of attempted murder. of public official, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years of imprisonment.