Veteran shop fraud probe dropped

Julian Mineur
Julian Mineur
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POLICE have confirmed no further action is to be taken against a former Blackpool councillor who was at the centre of a fraud probe.

Julian Mineur was arrested by detectives after they swooped on the Supporting Our Brave shop on Bank Hey Street where he works as project manager.

An investigation was launched by police and Trading Standards after concerns were raised about where £30,000 given to the shop – when it traded as Shop For Heroes – was going.

Computers were seized from the shop and Mr Mineur was arrested on December 22 last year. He was initially bailed until March 16 this year, and was then re-bailed while the investigation continued.

But Lancashire Police today said Mr Mineur would not face any charges relating to the fraud probe.

Mr Mineur said he was relieved at the outcome but had always been confident he would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

He said: “I am relieved, but I always knew there was no case to answer.

“I carried on with my work and the people I work with knew there was no truth in the allegations. I would like to thank all the veterans and volunteers for their support.

“I’m now looking forward to carrying on with our work here, helping serving soldiers and veterans.”

Following his arrest Mr Mineur was suspended by the Conservative group on Blackpool Council. He lost his seat at the May local elections after standing as an independent candidate.

Coun Jim Houldsworth, vice-chairman of the Fylde Ex-Servicemen’s Liaison Committee, said the investigation had “cast a shadow over the shop” and he was pleased it had finally been lifted. He said “an apology would be something” from the people who brought the allegations forward.

Faith

Coun Houldsworth said: “The damage done to the reputation of the shop was disastrous. But it’s finished, it’s done now – the shop is exonerated.

“I’m so pleased the veterans who run the shop never lost faith and always had a belief in the good work that was being carried out.

“We would like to move on now – the work we do is more important than silly accusations. Let’s hope the links we have with organisations that are helping serving and ex-servicemen continue to grow.”