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.”