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Portslade photographer jailed over model's kidnap ordeal
A Photographer who kidnapped a model he was obsessed with has been jailed for nine years.
Stephen Webber, 41, brainwashed Laura Chapman, 27, of Westbourne Gardens, Hove, into believing she would be killed unless she accompanied him to cheap hotels along the south coast.
In letters to The Argus – which he wrote from his cell at Lewes prison – he asked us to visit him.
He said he had information |which would expose a “phenomenally grave and gaping hole in the |law which would send massive |shockwaves through the legal system”.
Webber also previously accused Sussex Police of stalking him on Twitter.
He claimed to the BBC: “It struck me as somewhat sinister that they would be following that many people on Twitter.
“It just seems like it’s Big Brother going too far.”
During the nine-day trial the jury at Hove Crown Court was told how Webber, of George William Mews, Portslade, told Miss Chapman that she had been recruited by MI5.
She believed his bizarre tales of a Russian spy – Webber’s “sworn enemy” – and thought she would contract a killer virus through a computer dongle.
The court heard how he stabbed at her twice and told her she would be shot in the head.
Eventually she was rescued by police.
Detective Inspector Mick Jones said: “Stephen Webber is clearly a |dangerous individual whose deceit and manipulation led a vulnerable young woman into believing that |he was a spy for MI5 and that |they were both in life-threatening danger.
“This led to the victim being too frightened to leave him over a five-day period in which they travelled to Eastbourne, staying in local accommodation while their alleged pursuers hunted for them.
“The victim was so fearful of the |situation presented by Webber that she was too afraid to attempt to escape.”
Webber was convicted yesterday of kidnap, causing grievous bodily harm, making threats to kill and criminal damage.
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