Model Chloe Ayling was 'brutally transported in luggage', court hears

7 February 2018, 17:16

The alleged kidnapper of British glamour model Chloe Ayling "brutally transported her in luggage", a court in Milan has heard.

The trial of Lucasz Herba, 30, is due to last several weeks with more than 50 witnesses expected to testify - but it will not include the model.

Ms Ayling, 20, was allegedly drugged and stuffed into a suitcase after her job took her to a fake photoshoot in Milan.

The captors allegedly threatened to auction her on the internet while trying to extort £230,000 from her agent Phil Green.

As the trial opened, one officer described how Ms Ayling suffered "physical violence including being drugged, handcuffed and brutally transported inside a suitcase".

Ms Ayling told police she was taken to a remote farmhouse near Turin and was held captive for six days before being freed when kidnappers discovered she was a mother.

Herba is charged with kidnapping after being arrested on 18 July, with GPS data leading officers to the farmhouse where she was allegedly held.

The 30-year-old told the court he did not knowingly take part in any crime, and he described Ms Ayling as "free, chilled and relaxed" when he met her on 10 July.

Judge Ilio Mannucci Pacini allowed the accused to sit on a bench after he originally appeared in court in a cage.

His brother, Michal Konrad Herba, 36, is awaiting extradition after his arrest in Sandwell, West Midlands, on a European arrest warrant.

He is also accused of taking part in the kidnap and will be tried at a later date.

Ms Ayling, of Coulsdon, south London, has always insisted she has told the truth about her alleged captivity.

The trial continues.