NO action will be taken against a family of Children in Need fundraisers who were accused of being bogus, after police decided there was insufficient evidence.

Worcester's Michael Locke, his wife Rosemarie and mother-in-law Rosie Smith received abuse across social media and were frightened to leave their home due to threats of violence, particularly against Mr Locke, after they were accused of being bogus in November.

The police investigation was launched after Mr Locke produced a doctored identification card while collecting money from customers at the Red Lion pub in Stiffords Bridge.

His picture was quickly distributed across social media.

Now, six weeks later, the case has been dropped.

A spokesman for Mercia Police said: "Following an investigation, there was insufficient evidence to establish that a criminal offence has taken place.

"Officers have provided advice to those involved regarding the correct use of identity badges and sealed collection buckets."

The family always denied the accusations saying that they had collected for the BBC appeal for several years. They produced receipts showing they had banked money to the Children in Need official account and said they only altered the ID badge after Michael took another relative's place on the collections.

Ms Smith, 67, explained at the time: "My son Ron usually collects for me all the time, but this year he couldn't do it, so I asked Michael to help me collect.

"I am ill and need all the help I can get.

"The identify cards were sent in Ron's name, but we didn't know how to get them changed and tried to call Children in Need. I didn't know what else to do so we put Michael's face on it instead."

A picture of 48-year-old Mr Locke was distributed after he agreed for staff to photograph him in the Red Lion.

Ms Smith, of Bromwich Road, St John's, said: "Mother in law, Rosie, said: “It’s not on, what we had to go through, and people have been saying things since the first story was in the paper.
“We have been proved right. I hope people are put right now, it was out of order and disgusting.”

She said they would have donated around £100 to the cause this year.