Prosecutors seek 16 years for man in UK model's kidnapping

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An Italian court has convicted a Polish man of kidnapping a British model for ransom and sentenced him to 16 years and nine months in prison.

According to prosecutors, Ayling was lured to Milan with the promise of a modelling gig and then drugged when she showed up at a mocked-up photographic studio.

She was taken to a remote mountain village where she was kept for nearly a week before Herba drove her back to Milan and released her near the British consulate.

Ayling acknowledged that her failure to tell investigators initially that she had accompanied Herba into the store damaged her credibility, but said she had been completely terrified.

Defendant Herba, 30, had claimed Ms Ayling agreed to the scheme to boost her career.

There she was held for six days before Herba released her at the British consulate in Milan. In his initial statement to police, he said he let her go out of sympathy for her role as a mother. "But it certainly was not as Chloe has described".

After the verdict, Kolakowska expressed disappointment that the court did not take into account that Ayling emerged from the ordeal unharmed, which would have limited the sentence to one year to eight years. Pesce said Ayling was considering possible civil action in British courts against media outlets that suggested she had lied to become famous.

Italian law foresees a sentence of 25 to 30 years for kidnapping and extortion, but prosecutors asked the court in Milan to make allowance for the short duration of the abduction and a narcissistic personality disorder from which Herba was said to have.

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Prosecutor Paolo Storari said that Ayling´s version of events was "more than founded by the evidence provided", including a message from Lucasz to Michal in which he told his brother to "clean the boot of the auto so that her hair would not be found".

Herba maintained his innocence throughout the trial, saying he was never violent with Ms Ayling.

Ms Ayling said in her original statement to police that she was held captive and never left the remote farmhouse dwelling where she was being detained.

When no money came through, he released her, hoping he would show some kind of fake "mercy" which would build her feelings for him.

His brother, Michal Herba, was arrested in the Tividale area of Sandwell, West Midlands, in August and was ordered to be extradited to face trial in Italy.

"And it means now she can get on with her life".

The prosecutor also cited Herba's purchase of two ski masks, which Chloe said she saw kidnappers wearing when she was freed from the canvas bag, and a note to his brother telling him to clean the trunk of the vehicle well to make sure that there were no traces of her hair.

"This has been an incredible burden on her shoulders for the previous year in the face of media criticism of her motivation and this is vindication - her story is true", Ms Ayling's representative Adrian Sington said.

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