A Nottinghamshire man who posed as a spy to con his victims out of £1m has appealed against his convictions.
Hendy-Freegard said his kidnap convictions were incorrect
Robert Hendy-Freegard, 36, from Blyth, was convicted in 2005 on two counts of kidnap, 10 counts of theft and eight counts of deception.
The former barman told people from Sheffield, London and Newcastle their lives were in danger and convinced them to carry out bizarre loyalty tests.
Barrister Tim Owen QC said his client's kidnap convictions were incorrect.
At London's Court of Appeal on Tuesday, Mr Owen said the offence of kidnapping required, in law, deprivation of a victim's liberty and free will and there was no evidence of this in the case against Hendy-Freegard.
If the appeal is allowed, Hendy-Freegard would be left with a nine-year sentence for 18 charges of fraud and theft rather than his current life sentence for kidnapping.
'Motivated by power'
Hendy-Freegard was convicted in June 2005 after subjecting his victims to years of poverty after they carried out bizarre missions for him over a 10-year period.
The former barman and car salesman worked at a pub in Newport, Shropshire when the con began in 1992.
One woman, Elizabeth Richardson who worked in the same car dealership as Hendy-Freegard in Sheffield, gave the conman thousands of pounds after beginning an affair.
She was also meant to sleep on park benches in Peterborough as a test of her loyalty. She was found living in a hovel in Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire.
Other victims included John Atkinson, a student, who fled Newport in Shropshire when he was told his life was in danger and handed over more than £300,000.
Speaking after his trial in 2005, Metropolitan Police Det Sgt Bob Brandon said Hendy-Freegard lived a millionaire lifestyle while his victims lived in abject poverty.
"He was motivated by power; he was a sad, pathetic individual who achieved nothing from his life but by pretending to be a spy he had power and control over people."