Black Country-based man who kidnapped model in Milan has jail term cut

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Crime | Published:

A man based in the Black Country who kidnapped a model has had his jail sentence cut by nearly five years after Italian judges ruled he "acted compassionately" when he released her.

Chloe Ayling was kidnapped by Lukasz Herba

Chloe Ayling's ordeal made international headlines when she was snatched after being lured to a fake modelling shoot in Milan and bundled into the boot of a car.

The then-20-year-old was taken to a remote farmhouse where she was held for six days by Lukasz Herba, 30, in 2017.

The Polish national, who had been living in Tividale, was jailed for nearly 17 years in 2019 after being convicted by an Italian court of kidnapping the London-based model.

Lukasz Herba

She told how she was chained to a chest of drawers and warned she would be sold as a sex slave unless she came up with 300,000 Euros.

However, Herba eventually freed the former Celebrity Big Brother contestant, after she made attempts to befriend him to try and form a "bond" between the two of them, driving her to the British consulate in Milan.

An appeal court has now ruled Herba should serve 12 years and one month instead of the 16 years and nine months he was originally given.

The judgement says Herba "acted out of love" because "he didn't abandon her in an isolated area".


Speaking about her ordeal following her release, Miss Ayling defended her actions in getting close to her kidnapper, insisting it was her best chance of being released.

“Why would you be ‘offish’ with the person who is starting to have feelings for you and is relying on that to release you? I had to do everything I could to make him fall in love with me," she said.

Herba was jailed following a trial at a court in Milan. Ms Ayling said she felt vindicated by the guilty verdict after claims had been made that the kidnapping was a publicity stunt.

The kidnapper's links to the Black Country emerged when police raided a block of flats in Tividale.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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