01 October 1998

SHEFFIELD businessman Stephen Hinchcliffe, whose Facia retail chain imploded in 1996, was arrested at his home by officers of the South Yorkshire Police and Serious Fraud Squad. He was charged with corruption and conspiracy to defraud. Hinchcliffe, who emerged onto the national stage with his bravura purchase of Sears' shoe retailing interests in 1995 [which he then rebranded as Facia], has fingers in many pies including the MOPS-recognised mail order firm Feelgood Leisure which went into administrative receivership last month. Having surrendered his passport, he was bailed-out by his wife, brother and a friend, to the tune of £300,000. Meantime, his former partner Christopher Harrison, named in the charges as a co-conspirator, missed all the fun as he is currently detained as an unwilling guest of the German government following the recent collapse of Millennium Schuhe - a shoe retailing venture co-owned by Harrison and guess who?