Kidnapped model Chloe Ayling 'slept next to her kidnapper and went shoe shopping with him'

Young mother's lawyer admits Italian police initially had 'more than understandable doubts' about story

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 08 August 2017 08:53
Chloe Ayling speaks to reporters and poses for photos outside her home upon return to the UK

Kidnapped model Chloe Ayling went shoe shopping with her abductor and even slept next to him for several nights, it has been claimed.

The 20-year-old was drugged and kidnapped in Milan after being lured to a fake photoshoot, Italian police have said.

Alleged kidnapper Lukasz Herba is said to have taken her to buy shoes at some point during her ordeal, because she lost them when she was snatched, Mail Online reported.

According to The Sun, which cited a police statement, the pair shared a bed after the first day of her captivity, during which she was reportedly handcuffed to a chest of drawers.

Ms Ayling told police she was not sexually assaulted.

They are the latest details to emerge in an unusual case that even Ms Ayling's lawyer admitted had given detectives "more than understandable doubts".

Ms Ayling, of Coulsdon, south London, is said to have been drugged with the horse tranquilliser ketamine and transported in a bag to Borgial, an isolated village near Turin, before being released on July 17, according to Italian police.

She was then detained for six days while her captors reportedly tried to auction her on the dark web as a sex slave.

But her kidnappers eventually took her to the British consulate in Milan despite receiving neither payment nor a ransom, with the reason later given that they had learned she was a mother.

Ms Ayling's lawyer acknowledged that aspects of the case seemed bizarre. He said investigators initially had "more than understandable doubts" about the model's story.

"It seems incredible," Francesco Pesce said. "A man kidnaps, together with others, a girl, and after a week, citing particular reasons, accompanies her inside a consulate ... (and) practically hands her over to police.

"This at first was doubted also by investigators, but the story later turned out to be true."

Addressing the sensational claims in an interview with the BBC, Mr Pesce confirmed Ms Ayling had gone grocery and shoe shopping with her abductor.

He said: "She was told that she was going to be sold to somebody in the Middle East for sex. She was told that people were there watching her and waiting to kill her if she tried anything.

"So she thought that the best idea was to go along with it and to be nice, in a way, to her captor."

Milan police officer Lorenzo Bucossi said Herba described himself as a "paid killer" for a mercenary organisation. Others have suggested he is a fantasist.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Milan deputy prosecutor Paolo Storari said: "Fantasist or not, what is clear is that he is a very dangerous man who drugged his victim as soon as she was kidnapped and put her inside a large travel bag in the boot of a car.

"His version of events is barely credible but clearly he does not deny that he was with her for the time she was missing."

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