A BUSINESSMAN who posed as a Royal Navy captain for two decades has been given a police caution.
Detectives launched an investigation after photographs emerged of Stuart Elliott, 51, wearing a Royal Navy uniform with gold braids on his cuffs – the four rings indicating the rank of captain – and a row of medals.
As well as attending corporate events at Hull KR matches in uniform and regalia, he invited Falklands hero Simon Weston to open the head office of his firm TC Power Ltd, at Stanley House, Falkland Way, in Barton.
It is understood there was a difference in opinion between lawyers over the correct course of action to take, but District Crown Prosecutor Catherine Ainsworth ruled there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prosecute.
Instead police issued a caution over a driving licence in which Mr Elliott had stated he was a captain.
Det Insp Mike Reed, who spent eight months investigating the case, said: “Personally I feel sorry for all the veterans who have been conned over the years.
“This is a story that goes back 20 years. It is not something that happened in the last couple of years. He has obviously had this fantasy lifestyle of wanting to dress up and influence people. He fully co-operated with out investigation and to be fair I don’t think he did it with the intention of causing harm or offending anybody. It is maybe something that got out of control.”
In a statement Ms Ainsworth said: “In the case of Stuart Elliott we advised Humberside Police that the investigation, as presented to us, did not reveal sufficient evidence for this case to be referred to a crown prosecutor for a charging decision. We also advised that we could not identify any other lines of inquiry likely to assist in the building of this case in relation to the offences being investigated.
“The only offence which could have met our evidential test was the offence relating to the driving licence.
“We discussed the case with the police and they decided a caution was the most appropriate way of dealing with the matter, taking into account all of the circumstances.”
The CPS added that none of the associations he had joined favoured a prosecution.
Mr Elliott’s medals covered more than a quarter century of service, from the 1977 Silver Jubilee to the second Gulf War of 2003. They also included a submariner’s badge.
He offered an apology through solicitor Max Gold, who said his client admitted wearing a uniform and medals that he wasn’t entitled to.
“He’d been on a salvage vessel (at the time of the Falklands conflict) but I think the fighting had stopped by the time he got there... I suppose once he has said something it stays. He was very upset and he is sorry about the whole thing. Through me he has apologised to everyone who was offended.”