Robert Hendy-Freegard has been on the run since Friday when he drove his car at two French police offices, seriously injuring one, during a check at his home in Creuse, central France.
French police on Monday confirmed that he is still at large and is being actively sought by police in Creuse, as well as the neighbouring départements of Corrèze, Haute-Vienne, Allier, Indre and Puy-de-Dôme.
An investigation has been opened for “attempted manslaughter of a person in authority” – the injured officer remained in hospital on Monday.
Hendy-Freegard, 51, was jailed for life by a London court in 2005 for deception, theft and kidnapping in an extraordinary trial that heard from seven victims whose money he used to enjoy luxury cars, expensive meals and five-star holidays.
But the kidnap charges were later quashed on appeal and he was released from prison in 2009.
Martine Laporte, the mayor of Vidaillat in the sparsely populated Creuse region, told AFP that he had been living in the village since 2015.
Gendarmes visited his property on Friday with health inspectors to conduct an investigation into the dog-breeding operation that Hendy-Freegard ran with his partner.
Neighbours told local newspaper Midi-Libre that there had been several complaints made about the puppy farm, which reportedly did not have the proper licences.
“While police were asking one of the partners to accompany them to the nearest station, the individual started his vehicle and hit two officers before fleeing,” a statement from the police in the Creuse region said.
He was the subject of the Netflix documentary “The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman” earlier this year.
This is a true story of a con artist who used his devious charms to fleece at least seven woman out of nearly 1.3 million dollars — and they're still trying to catch him!
The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman premieres January 18 pic.twitter.com/kqv5BH5cDs
— Netflix (@netflix) January 5, 2022
In it, victims described how Hendy-Freegard had spun an elaborate web of lies, claiming that he was a member of the British secret services and that their lives were in danger in order to isolate them from family and friends and steal their money. He is believed to have conned £1 million out of his various victims.
The children of a woman believed to be his current partner, Sandra Clifton, also appeared in the documentary and said she disappeared after meeting him.
Neighbours in Vidaillat have described Clifton as “reclusive”.
Hendy-Freegard fled in his UK-registered Audi A3.