The Polish man accused of drugging and kidnapping a British model in order to sell her on the dark web was found guilty Monday and sentenced to almost 17 years in prison.
Trying to establish a bond, Herba also told Ayling he would cover 250,000 euros and she would have to come up with just 50,000 euros.
The gang is active on the "dark web" and claims to sell women as sex slaves to buyers in the Middle East. He said the model was drugged with ketamine, which knocked her out, then put inside a canvas bag and transported to a farmhouse, where she was handcuffed to the furniture for at least the first night.
But in his shifting story line, Herba also testified previously that he had concocted the alleged criminal group and that his brother was helping him in the scheme agreed to by Ayling. They said Herba had not been seen for around three weeks before the kidnapping in July 2017.
The court in Milan sentenced United Kingdom resident Lucasz Herba to 16 years and nine months in prison for abducting Ayling and holding her against her will in July 2017. Final damages will be set by a civil court. In his initial statement to police, he said he let her go out of sympathy for her role as a mother. She intends to appeal.
Milan to make an allowance for the short duration of the abduction and a narcissistic personality disorder from which Herba was said to suffer.
In his, Herba said he had been in love with Ayling and they concocted the kidnap plot to help her overcome financial difficulties after the birth of her son.
Herba maintained his innocence throughout the trial, saying he was never violent with Ms Ayling.
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"It's hard if you're being painted in the press as a liar and now she's able to say, 'I know it's a freaky story but it's a true one". "But it certainly was not as Chloe has described".
When no money came through, he released her, hoping he would show some kind of fake "mercy" which would build her feelings for him.
The guilty man's brother, Michal Herba, 37, was arrested in Sandwell last August and is due to be extradited to face trial in Italy.
In his closing arguments, Storari noted that Herba had invested at least 10,000 euros (A$15,503) in the kidnapping, taking into account real estate rentals and travel.
During closing arguments, his lawyer, Katia Kolakowska, cited an email she received from a USA film producer, who pointed out that Ayling's story closely matches the plot of a movie titled By Any Means that was released about eight weeks before the 2017 kidnapping.
Ayling's agent Adrian Sington said the ruling was vindication for his client.
"Let´s not forget she was bundled into a suitcase, injected with ketamine in the boot of a vehicle and thought she was going to die", Sington added. "It's hard if you're being painted in the press as a liar, and now she's able to say, "I know it's a freaky story, but it's a true one".
An earlier version was corrected to show the conviction happened Monday, not Friday.