9th Dec, 2016

Investigations ongoing over late Coventry council deputy Phil Townshend, police clarify

Les Reid 9th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

INVESTIGATIONS into Coventry council deputy leader Phil Townshend in the months before his mysterious death remain ongoing, police have clarified.

It follows reports in another Coventry newspaper last month which falsely stated he had been “cleared of any wrongdoing” over allegations concerning the finances of a 78-year-old woman, revealed by us in November.

We also revealed law firm Townshends LLP in liquidation still owed £300,000 in tax bills; and council taxpayers would foot an £8,200 bill towards a Coventry Cathedral funeral and reception, amid eulogies from politicians.

Legal restrictions prevented us from going into detail, but we revealed police were among investigating bodies. They were never the sole or main investigating body.

We called on West Midlands Police to clarify in the public interest to prevent the public being misled. It confirmed: “We are aware that civil legal proceedings are ongoing”, although they claimed last month “no further police action will follow.”

The newspaper report also misleadingly alleged the police had “confirmed there is no evidence of any wrongdoing” and that “no further investigations will follow.”

A separate Coroner’s Inquest – into the cause of death at his home last October following inconclusive toxicology testing and an initial post-mortem – takes place on April 29 at Leamington Justice Centre.