Injured police, illegal dog breeding… Update on the escape in the Creuse of a crook, hero of Netflix

A crook, a recluse and two injured gendarmes: a banal control of dog breeding in a small village in Creuse has taken on the appearance of a TV series since Thursday. 20 minutes takes stock of this incredible affair which mixes fugitive fake spy and real British crook Netflix hero, illicit dog breeding and a woman “completely under the influence”.

What happened Thursday afternoon south of Guéret?

Breeding dogs, kept by a British couple in Vidaillat, a village of 180 inhabitants south of Guéret, were to be transferred to the SPA under the control of the DETSPP, responsible among other things for animal protection, and the gendarmerie . But, according to the Creuse prefecture, when “the gendarmerie asked one of the spouses to go to the nearest brigade”, a man “started his vehicle, then hit the two soldiers before taking the escape “.

Robert Hendy-Freegard, 51 and driving an Audi A3, “severely injured” two gendarmes, including one with an open fracture in the nose. They were prescribed 21 and six days of ITT.

Who is Robert Hendy-Freegard?

According to the mayor of the town Martine Laporte, the fifties, still at large on Friday, is Robert Hendy-Freegard. Arrived in the village with his partner in 2015, he is no stranger. This British crook is indeed the hero of a documentary The Puppetmaster: manipulation lessonsbroadcast on Netflix since the beginning of the year and a fiction film, RogueAgentstarring James Norton and Gemma Arterton, also on Netflix.

Robert Hendy-Freegard was sentenced in 2005 by British justice to life imprisonment for “kidnapping”, “deception”, “theft” from students and women, from whom he had extracted a total of more than a million of books, notably posing as a spy for MI5, the British secret service. He was released in 2009 after an appeals court overturned his kidnapping conviction.

“He managed to take power and control over the lives” of his victims, forcing them to live in “abject poverty”, explained Bob Brandon, the police officer in charge of the investigation, during the trial in 2005. It has been known for four or five years that he is a scoundrel, ”told an AFP correspondent, a neighbor of the stone house, inhabited by the couple.

Who is Robert Hendy-Freegard’s girlfriend?

“At first she would come out and give us a little wave like the Queen of England, then she said to us ‘I don’t speak French’ (I don’t speak French) as she ran away”, still told the neighbor, who preferred not to give his name. In Vidaillat, the scammer had settled with his companion in an isolated house, accessible after several bends in the Limousin forest.

If he only went there “very rarely”, his companion lived there “totally reclusive” and “completely under the influence”, according to the mayor. “She lived in terrible conditions, never went out except in her little courtyard, she was reduced to eating raw chestnuts and croquettes”, detailed the neighbor who claims to have seen her like this. “We arrived four years ago, so after her. His whole life was to take the dogs out, pick up their droppings, hang up the laundry and take out the trash,” added another neighbor, a retiree who did not want to give her name.

Robert Hendy-Freegard, then 32 years old during his trial in 2004, in London.
Robert Hendy-Freegard, then 32 years old during his trial in 2004, in London. – ELIZABETH COOK/AP/SIPA

Her son and her daughter, born of another union, thought their mother had disappeared, until the broadcast of the documentary. “At the beginning of the year, I came into contact with his daughter in England, who had been looking for her mother for eight years,” said the retiree. It was while watching Netflix that I made the connection. My granddaughter wrote to the Netflix producer and I got the recluse’s daughter contact. »

Where is the investigation?

An investigation was opened by the Guéret prosecutor’s office for “attempted intentional homicide of a person holding public authority”. And this Friday, according to neighbors, the fifty-something would have left for the British Embassy, ​​with her son, a cousin and a friend of her son, present Thursday in the village.

According to France Info, a search was carried out on Friday at the home of the fugitive. The investigators found there only “new telephones with prepaid cards, ideal for thwarting surveillance”, relate our colleagues. As for the German sedan with which Robert Hendy-Freegard fled, it is, for the moment, untraceable. “About fifty investigators are mobilized”, still assure our colleagues from France Info, while we still do not know why the man fled when his illegal breeding was checked. According to the town hall, this “illegal” dog breeding of the couple housed nearly 30 dogs in cages and had been targeted by several reports from the municipality for two years.

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