Ex-councillor arrested

Richard Vallery-Peters
Richard Vallery-Peters

A FORMER councillor has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation just weeks after he met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Richard Vallery-Peters, who lost his Hastings Borough Council seat in May, was arrested at his home in Ashburnham Road on Monday morning.

The 47-year-old former Navy rating was quizzed by detectives and later released on police bail.

The Observer understands his arrest relates to the wearing of military medals.

Sussex Police spokesman Andy Freeman said: “On Monday morning, police arrested a 47-year-old man from Hastings.

“He was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He was given police bail until August 6.”

When the Observer contacted Mr Vallery-Peters by phone on Monday to enquire about the arrest, he replied: “The police did call at my house and spoke to my partner.

“But they had got the wrong address.”

A former member of the 6th Hastings boy scout group, Mr Vallery-Peters was born in the Old Town and raised in Baird ward.

He was first elected as councillor to represent Baird in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 but lost his seat on May 3 this year.

He had campaigned earlier this year on unsustainable development, anti-social behaviour and traffic issues.

Since 2008 he has been the secretary of the Hastings and District Veterans’ Association and organised this year’s Armed Forces Day.

In September last year Mr Vallery-Peters walked from Eastbourne to Hastings to raise money for impoverished orphaned children in Africa.

At the Armed Forces Day event in June 2010, Mr Vallery-Peters was bitten on the hand by a man who had stolen two military pistols from a stall.

He was a bystander and was bitten while the offender was being restrained by members of the public during the incident at Alexandra Park.

In May, Mr Vallery-Peters was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Her Majesty the Queen during a special tea party.

He was invited to the event in recognition of his charity and council work.

Over the years he has raised £30,000 for a variety of charities and causes including Sussex Air Ambulance, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Broomgrove Community Residents Association and the Hastings & St Leonards Veterans Association.