The Apprentice contestant Christopher Farrell appeared at a police station today to answer bail – for FRAUD.
Former Royal Marine Christopher Farrell, 29 – who has a previous weapons conviction – was arrested two months ago over ”financial irregularities”.
He left the country after filming The Apprentice but has now appeared at Charles Cross police station in Plymouth, Devon.
Farrell, of Plymouth, was convicted of possessing a knuckleduster and an extendable baton in September last year – just weeks before filming for the show began.
Producer TalkBackThames had carried out its standard checks on him a month earlier, meaning the conviction did not show up.
He was then arrested on suspicion of fraud on August 4 this year, for a separate matter, and was questioned before being released on bail.
Farrell – who still remains in the reality TV show – spent more than three hours in custody before being released again to return in December.
A police spokesman said: ”A 29-year-old man answered bail at 9.30am and remained in custody until when he was released on bail at 1pm. He is due to answer bail again on December 8.”
Farrell, 29, who served as a sniper with the marines in conflicts including Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, was first arrested after a knuckleduster and a baton were found in the glove box of his Mercedes.
Police were called to his home in February 2009 following allegations he had hit his wife, causing a wound and drawing blood.
Officers in Plymouth, Devon, then searched his car and found the knuckleduster and an extendible baton in a front compartment.
He was not charged with any assault on his wife but pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing an offensive weapon at Plymouth Crown Court in September 2009, just before Apprentice filming started.
Farrell said the weapons were ‘trinkets’ from his forces days but Judge Francis Gilbert rejected the claims and gave him a two-year conditional discharge and £847 costs.
During his court appearance prosecutor Paul Frost said police acting on a phone call visited Farrell’s home and waited for him to arrive, before searching the vehicle.
Farrell said that he had bought the baton in the USA and acquired the knuckleduster in 2001 in Afghanistan, but had never used either.
Speaking in court, Nick Lewin, for Farrell, said the weapons were in the car for ”storage”.
But Judge Gilbert said: ”You don’t store things like that in your car. I don’t believe your explanation that this was a convenient place to store trinkets, or that you never used them.
”Your wife complained that you hit her when you lost your temper. Knuckledusters and batons have only one purpose, and that is to cause injury.”
The judge handed down a conditional discharge and then warned him that he would face jail if he were caught with weapons again.
The mortgage broker, who is a keen golfer and fitness fanatic, is hoping to win the £100,000 top prize in the popular show.
A statement from the BBC said: ”Talkback Thames’ selection process is in line with the BBC’s policy to make appropriate checks on all contributors and contestants.
”The BBC asks for any information relevant including criminal convictions and makes a case by case judgement based on the information provided, the nature of the given programme and the nature of the information divulged.”
This is a shame in light of this and his recent appearance on the show as it would suggest that he is depsperate to be liked and he has shown that he has a more sinister side to him. I cannot help feeling that this revelation puts soilders and ex-soiders in a bad light. Secondly with Lord Sugars’ comments finishing the show yesterday on ‘you are hard worker no can doubt that, but I can’t help feeling you are back office boy’ this further paints a poor image for ex-forces suggesting that they are not creative or sharp enough to be real business leaders and they will always be a number two.
I run my on business and I have the cutting edge needed to be a business leader and have used my ex-forces persona to a real advantage by helping businesses with the skills I have learnt from the army to provide businesses and their leaders with the necessary skills to drive their business forward Mark Linton ‘AKA Sergeant Major’
The difference is you were in the army – that means nothing, an ex royal marine is something totally different and does stand out !
so sad this has come out. its plastered everywhere fraud, then it appears financial discrepencies. Should i dare say it, oh my god he’s scouse and the media have found something to pin him as a criminal. it is getting really old that this is how people from liverpool are continually being portrayed. I am judging the man on how he was during his time at the apprentice, hard working, people person, decision maker, great organiser, if these traits are not good for business then maybe we should all move over for mr gut instinct, never write anything down, i’ve survived off having good business people in my team BRAND. LEST WE FORGET. Chris was a soldier who fought in some of our most recent poinant wars, we get to live in a safe and unbombed (on a world war scale) country, because our men go to fight in wars (whether you believe in there rightousness or not) and risk their lives for the sake of us (our country). Most of whom do not want to fight these wars. He served us remember. How do we reward on of our country men, when they try and do well for themselves by landing a great job (yes by means of an over publisized interview, but non the less a great job) our media finds some small offences that have both not been convicted and could have easily been dramatised in unfortunate situations. Alls i did was try and watch a rerun of the apprentice and when i typed in his name i came face to face with every nationl newspaper telling this story and slandering his name. I just think people should think about the other side of the story and not jump on the media band wagon, dont you think it would be nice if just one newspaper bothered to get his side. He was a soldier and left to come back and get a supossidely safe job for his wife and child and ends up having to disappear again. I am supporting him until i know differently. Chris i think you did a great job and should have stayed hired. Alan sugar gave a poor excuse of a reason to fire you and i hope so did your ex boss too. And contrary to sergeant mark linton’s comments i think you showed ex force men well in the show, and i was a supporter of yours all the way through the show, and still now after reading the newspapers believe you should still be in the show and should have gone all the way.