The British public schoolboy accused by alleged ‘captors’ of staging his kidnap in Italy for ransom
Fresh doubts were raised last night over the alleged kidnapping of a former British public schoolboy in Italy.
Sam Demilecamps, 25, was found malnourished and chained to a radiator after he phoned his estranged father saying he needed £6,000 or would be dead the next day.
He later told officers he had been waterboarded and tasered while held hostage by three men and a woman.
Sam Demilecamps, 25, with his mother Jally
But one of the suspects has since told a judge the ‘kidnap’ two weeks ago was all Mr Demilecamps’s idea – to pay off a debt.
And his own family have admitted they do not know who to believe.
The suspects have been bailed under house arrest and their alleged victim is understood to have returned to Britain, while police inquiries continue.
It is not the first time the former boarding school pupil – who describes himself as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ – has needed emergency help.
Mr Demilecamps attended the £36,000-a-year Hampshire boarding school Lord Wandsworth College. He now describes himself as a chef
Five years ago, he had to be rescued after leaping into the sea from a 180ft cliff in Sicily ‘for a dare’.
Last night Mr Demilecamps, who was barred from the pub beside his former flat in Brighton, could not be contacted for comment.
His father Patrick Demilecamps, a former investment banker who used to work in England but now lives in Brussels, said: ‘I don’t have anything to add to what has already become public knowledge.’
His stepfather Derek McCall, 61, managing director of a biotechnology company, and skin therapist mother Jally, 60, declined to discuss the ‘kidnap’ at their £2.5million mansion in Hampshire.
Mr Demilecamps seen being rescued after a friend dared him to jump into the sea from a 180ft cliff at the resort of Taormina, Sicily in 2016
But a source close to the family said: ‘His dad lost contact with him a long time ago – then he was suddenly contacted by Sam during this “event” in Italy.
‘He told him: “I owe money to very dangerous people. This is a matter of life and death – if I don’t get 7,000 euros I’m dead tomorrow.”
‘But now it seems the situation is not quite what it appeared – and the so-called kidnappers are saying it was fraud all planned by Sam.’
The source added: ‘And what sort of kidnapper would let their hostage have a mobile phone – when everyone knows the police will be able to track them?
‘We all know about Sam’s cliff jump. That sums up what he’s like. And he spends money he hasn’t got.’
The former boarding school pupil – who describes himself as an ‘adrenaline junkie’ – has in the past needed emergency help for jumping off a cliff for a dare
Mr Demilecamps, who attended £36,000-a-year Hampshire boarding school Lord Wandsworth College and now describes himself as a chef, had been in Italy since June, and at the start of October was at a hostel in Florence.
After his father received his call asking for 7,000 euros, officers tracked him down within 36 hours and launched an armed raid.