Robert Hendy-Freegard is one of the ultimate British conmen, who after meeting people out socially or through his work as a car salesman and a barman, would convince them that he was a secret agent working for MI5 or Scotland Yard. He would then use pressure and psychological stress on his victims, often claiming their lives were in danger just from being associated with him, and that in order for them to survive they must follow his demands. He would then isolate his victims from their family and friends, and begin coercing money from them and sometimes even getting them to perform “loyalty tests” such as letting him beat them up, or getting them to lie for him in different situations.
His deception and coercion went on for many years until in 2002 Scotland Yard and the FBI organised a sting operation to bring him down. He was eventually apprehended and after an eight-month trial was sentenced to life after being convicted of two counts of kidnapping, 10 counts of theft, and eight of deception.
In 2007 after appealing against the kidnapping charges his life sentence was revoked, though he still faced 9 years for the other offences.
Robert Hendy-Freegard was released from prison in May 2009 and by 2011 using a false name of David Hendy, met and seduced a British woman named Sandra Clifton who it is believed he now works with in the beagle bredding and showing business, using the name David Clifton. After meeting Hendy-Freegard, Clifton ceased contact with her children and with the childrens father.
What to watch
There are several TV shows based on Hendy-Freegard. The netflix documentary mini series The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman (2022). The Netflix film Rogue Agent (2022), and the Channel Five documentary The Spy Who Stole My Life (2005).