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The Puppet Master: Who were Robert Hendy-Freegard’s victims?

The Puppet Master tells the story of the horrendous crimes of Robert Hendy-Freeman, who conned people out of a total of an estimated £1,000,000 – but who were his victims?

The three-parter, described by Netflix as a ‘jaw-dropping story of one of the world’s most audacious conmen,’ dropped on the streaming service this week.

Created by the same people behind The Ripper and Don’t F*** With Cats documentaries, the documentary is sure to shock viewers.

The series examines the hunt for shocking British conman Hendy-Freegard, 50, who fleeced an estimated £1 million out of innocent victims, who included wealthy students from nearby Harper Adams University.

He would meet victims on social occasions or as customers in the pub or car dealership, before ‘revealing’ he worked for MI5 and posed the story he tracked down IRA extremists and told victims they were being pursued by the organisation.

After weaving his way into their lives, he would work by distancing them from their friends and families, put victims through a series of loyalty tests and make them pay money to ensure their safety.

The Puppet Master explores the crimes of conman Robert Hendy-Freegard (Picture: Netflix)

Here’s everything you need to know about the victims who were conned by Hendy-Freegard.

Who were Robert Hendy-Freegard’s victims?

Several of the conman’s victims and their families feature in the documentary to recount harrowing stories of his crimes.

Three of his earlier victims were students at Harper Adams Agricultural College, who he met at a nearby pub called The Swan pub in which he worked as a barman.

Sarah met David in 1992 (Picture: Netflix)

Around Christmas of 1992, Freegard started dating a student named Maria Hendy, who introduced him to her friends John Atkinson and Sarah Smith.

Atkinson and Smith, who speak on the Netflix documentary about how in 1993, he introduced himself as Rob.

The pair were both taken in by Freegard’s IRA claims, and he worked to create distance between the friends and turn them against each other.

Atkinson was told to convince his two female roommates, Smith and Maria Hendy, to flee alongside himself and Freegard.

Atkinson ended up giving him more than £300,000, with Sarah going ‘on the run’ from the IRA for nearly 10 years before she was found.

Sandra’s daughter Sophie appeared to talk in the documentary (Picture: Netflix)

However, there are other victims who aren’t shown in the series, such as Sandra Clifton.

She met Hendy-Freegard – who went by David Henry – on a dating site in 2011.

Her children Jake and Sophie Clifton instead appear to open up about their horror experience, as well as Sandra’s ex-husband Mark.

Sandra hasn’t been seen by her children Jake (L) and Sophie since she disappeared (Picture: Netflix)

Like with his previous victims, Hendy-Freegard tried to turn Clifton against her two children before one day, the couple took off with no notice.

After searching for ‘David’ online and finding nothing, they later discovered Hendy-Freegard’s previous criminal acts and knew they were dealing with an imposter.

Although she still occasionally contacts her two children, she has never disclosed her current location to them.

The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman can be streamed on Netflix now.


Credit: Original article published here.

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