Ex-Playboy model 'pal' tricked me with hostage hoax after I told her about kidnap horror; MUM TRAUMATISED BY BEAUTY'S SICK PS8,000 SCAM.
HORRIFIED Tori Brown watched helplessly on her phone as her best pal pleaded for help with a pillowcase over her head.
Ex-Playboy model Angelica Harte's pleas turned to piercing cries as her evil captor demanded a ransom.
He ordered Tori to pay PS5,000 and threatened to snip off a finger from the hostage for every hour she was late. He then upped the figure to PS8,000.
Tori's anguish was intensified because she knew what her friend was going through - she too had been a kidnap victim. The harrowing scene brought back all the nightmares of her own ordeal.
But then "victim" Harte and "kidnapper" Darren Fitzpatrick knew this because they had staged the whole elaborate hoax.
The nasty pair were trying to con Tori out of her life savings.
Tori, 40, is speaking for the first time about her pal's betrayal which has left her with posttraumatic stress disorder.
She said: "I never thought Angelica could have done this to me. She used what I'd been through against me, hit me where I was vulnerable.
"I just want her to know how much she's hurt me and what an evil thing she's done.
"But I don't think she has a conscience."
Former glamour model Tori met Angelica in 2004 when they worked in a bar as lap dancers. Tori said: "I liked Angelica immediately and took her under my wing. She was very chatty and we had things in common.
"She left work after a few months but we managed to keep up with each others' lives. She was fun. She made her life sound quite glamorous and, more importantly, she was there for me."
Mum-of-four Tori stuck by Harte, 40, even though other people told her she was trouble. She said: "There was always some drama with Angelica.
"She'd ask to borrow money from me, or turn up at my house suddenly, asking to stay for a bit."
At the beginning of this year, vulnerable Tori, who is bipolar, confided in Harte about the terrifying ordeal she had suffered at the hands of a former boyfriend in 2012.
Tori and a young teenage neighbour had been violently assaulted by him, for which he was jailed for eight months.
She had met her lover via Facebook and had been living with him for six months - but when she moved back home he did not like it.
She said: "He came after me to kidnap me and take me back. My young neighbour knew I was scared and tried to protect me."
But Tori's ex punched and knocked out the neighbour then pinned her down in her bedroom.
She said: "He poured a bottle of Listerine in my eyes, he sprayed Febreze in my eyes, he did horrible things to me and I still have nightmares about it."
By the time the police arrived Tori had also been knocked out and her ex was trying to stab her neighbour in the head with his keys. Tori still struggles to sleep at night and lives with the daily fear that he will come after her again.
She believes these experiences left her open to being taken for a terrifying ride by her friend.
Tori, a VIP manager for a boxing company, said: "I trusted her. I told her what I'd been through. She was very sympathetic." On March 4 this year Tori had put her youngest kids, Coral and Chelsea Leigh, ten, to bed and received an "odd message" on Facebook from a stranger.
He told her he had kidnapped Harte and unless she took PS5,000 in a duffel bag to Birmingham's New Street Station her friend would lose a finger for every hour's delay. Tori said: "He also said she would 'f***ing' get it if I didn't give him the money. I completely lost it."
Panicking Tori rang a male pal, who rushed round and read the astonishing messages. She became convinced Harte was in danger when the video of her screaming "help me", with a pillowcase over her head arrived. Then Fitzpatrick's ransom demand went up to PS8,000. He even sent her a picture supposedly showing one of Harte's fingers missing which, at the time, Tori thought was real.
Tori messaged Harte's brother and mum who told her to call the police.
At 2am, police in Birmingham called Tori to tell her Harte was safe. Tori said: "I was so relieved I broke down in tears."
But the next day cops revealed it had been a hoax and that they had discovered her tucked up in bed with her boyfriend. Darren was also in the house.
Harte appeared to be fixated on Tori, with pictures of her over the walls.
Tori now believes Harte became jealous when she had Coral 15 months ago and took a step back from the relationship.
She said: "What I thought was a friendship was actually an obsession. I remember Angel sent me a message saying I was her idol and she was going to get pregnant by the next handsome man she saw. I now find that sinister."
At Birmingham Crown Court in September, Harte received a seven-month sentence, suspended for two years, for sending a threatening electronic communication with intent to cause distress. Fitzpatrick, 24, was handed a eight-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of community service for the same offence.
Harte claimed her bizarre actions were a joke which had gone too far but Tori says she can never forgive her.
Tori said: "After they were sentenced I saw them laughing about the whole thing on social media. They've no remorse."
Tori, also mum to Connor, 21, and Callum Jack, 15, has been dating new partner Nick Hunt, 38, for four months.
She said: "I'd love to know why Angelica did what she did and an apology would be nice. But knowing her, I would never get a straight answer."
Harte was last night unavailable for comment.
SINISTER: Fitzpatrick poses on Facebook and his threat to Tori
THE VICTIM Tori Brown was convinced her friend's 'kidnap' was for real
THE MODEL Angelica Harte claimed incident was a prank that went too far
Picture: NICHOLAS BOWMAN
BEST MATES: Tori and Angelica before rift