Netflix documentary to tell story of conman Robert Hendy-Freegard's cruel IRA plot hoax

The remarkable story of infamous Shropshire conman Robert Hendy-Freegard will be the subject of a new three-part documentary series launched this week.

Robert Hendy-Freegard pictured at the time of his conviction in 2005
Robert Hendy-Freegard pictured at the time of his conviction in 2005

The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman will look at how Hendy-Freegard targeted well-off students at Harper Adams agricultural college, near Newport, convincing them he was an undercover agent working for MI5.

The pub barman span an elaborate web of lies persuading them to hand over hundreds of thousands of pounds, and in some cases to live as virtual prisoners for several years.

Hendy-Freegard, who was working as a barman at The Swan at Newport when his reign of terror began, was jailed for life in 2005. But this was cut to nine years in 2007 following a successful appeal to the House of Lords, which saw his most serious convictions quashed.

The three part series will be launched on Netflix on Tuesday.

His story is also set to be turned into a film starring James Norton and Gemma Arterton, with filming taking place last year.

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