Tests show fugitive businessman died of natural causes

Robert Stapleton
Image caption There were UK, Irish and European warrants for Mr Stapleton's arrest

Tests on the body of fugitive Robert Stapleton have confirmed he died of natural causes.

The Lincolnshire businessman's body was found at a roadside in Montfort-sur-Meu, near Rennes, France, last month and identified by DNA tests.

The 67-year-old had been on the run since 1985 over a criminal investigation into a £5m fraud relating to companies he controlled.

The find brings Lincolnshire Police's investigation to a close.

Fled the country

Mr Stapleton, who lived near Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire, operated a double glazing business in the county in the late 1970s.

He fled the country 26 years ago after having moved into other ventures including building squash courts and gyms.

Mr Stapleton was held on a European arrest warrant in Ireland in 2005 but failed to surrender to extradition and disappeared.

Liquidators of his businesses may now try to retrieve some of the money owed to them.

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