A guest on The Jeremy Kyle Show faked his own kidnapping to get £80 from his pregnant wife.
Host Jeremy Kyle said the culprit, Lee, was eventually prosecuted for wasting police time after an investigation into his disappearance cost the taxpayer £30,000, and saw police from all over the country coming together to try and save him.
His partner, Zoe, said she was 35 weeks pregnant when Lee and other men called her, saying if she didn’t transfer the £80 to his account he would have acid thrown on him.
Zoe told the host: "He rang to say, ‘I’ve been kidnapped,’ but I put the phone down the first time – I was 35 weeks pregnant.
Zoe described having phone calls from her partner
She said he was threatened with ‘acid in his face’
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"He rings me back and says he’s been terrorised, he’s going to get acid thrown on him if I don’t do this ransom, I had to put £80 from my bank into another bank for which he had the card.
"I didn’t know what to think, I was 35 weeks pregnant and I had a poorly baby, my baby has spina bifida.
"He phoned back again and then men spoke to me on the phone, and they said if I didn’t do it they were going to harm me and harm my baby."
She said she rang the police after transferring the money, but was soon met with police from all over the country read to come and find him.
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Zoe continued: "I put the money in the bank first, then I rang my brother who’d been out. I came home, checked the bank to see the money had gone, phoned the police and within 15 mins iI had armed forces at my door with guns… and it was a £30,000 operation."
She said Lee walked back into the building at 1am the following morning, but Zoe was not allowed to see him as they arrested him and prosecuted him for wasting police time.
He spent some time in prison, meaning he missed his son’s birth.
When Lee came out, the a studio audience were livid, as he said: "It was stupid, I wanted to help a friend."
Lee listened to the story from backstage
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He explained he was worried his wife would turn him down if he asked her to borrow it, thinking she would not believe it was to help a mate.
But she was not impressed, just saying: "I wanted to kill him."
The Jeremy Kyle Show airs weekdays at 9.25am on ITV.
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