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Who is "David" Robert Hendy-Freegard? Where The Puppet Master is now

Robert Hendy masqueraded as an MI5 agent to coerce his victims into isolating their families and giving him money.

Robert Hendy-Freegard
Published: Thursday, 27th January 2022 at 9:44 am

Netflix's brand new documentary The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman arrived on the platform last week, horrifying viewers with the true story of Robert Hendy-Freegard – a conman who duped several women out of almost a million pounds.


Hendy-Freegard, who is also referred to as David in the docuseries, told his victims that he was an MI5 agent before claiming that they were at risk of assassination by the IRA and coercing them into following his demands.

The Netflix series explores Hendy-Freegard's crimes and speaks to those affected by them, including Sophie and Jake Clifton – the adult children of a woman who decided to stay with Robert. But who exactly is this conman?

Here's everything you need to know about him as the documentary airs on Netflix.

Who is Robert Hendy-Freegard?

Robert Hendy-Freegard
Robert Hendy-Freegard Netflix

Robert Hendy-Freegard is a British barman, car salesman, conman and impostor. In order to lure his victims in, he masqueraded as an MI5 agent and fooled several people into going underground for fear of IRA assassination.

Once he won over his victims, Robert - who is also referred to as David in the docuseries - would separate them from their families and friends, and use tactics to get money out of them.

Elsewhere in the documentary, Robert Hendy-Freegard is referred to as David, by the family of a woman named Sandra Clifton, who decided to stay with him.

In the first episode, her children, Sophie and John, reveal how their mother met a man named David on a dating site. It later came to their attention that this man was in fact Robert Hendy-Freegard.

Where is Robert Hendy-Freegard now?

Freegard's location isn't known.

Sandra is still with Freegard, and makes contact with her children on occasion, however, she hasn't revealed their whereabouts.

In 2002, Scotland Yard and the FBI organised a sting operation to track down Hendy-Freegard. At the time, he had been scheming against his American girlfriend - a child psychologist.

The FBI bugged the phone of the American psychologist's parents. During one conversation, her mother told Hendy-Freegard she would hand over £10,000 to him, but only in person. Hendy-Freegard met the mother at Heathrow Airport, where police arrested him.

Hendy-Freegard denied all charges and claimed they were part of a conspiracy against him and continued this story in the subsequent trial.

In 2005, he was given a life sentence for two counts of kidnapping, 10 of theft and eight of deception.

However, two years later, Robert Hendy-Freegard appealed against his kidnapping convictions and won. His life sentence was revoked, and he had been released from prison by 2009.

The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman is available to stream on Netflix. Read our guide to the best series on Netflix.


For something else, visit our TV Guide our check out dedicated Documentaries hub.


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