TWO Essex firefighters, accused of abusing junior colleagues in Tilbury fire station have been cleared of all charges.
Anthony Benham, of Butts Road, Stanford-le-Hope, and Ian Maguire, of Karen Close, Benfleet, were accused of four counts of indecent assault and ten counts of false imprisonment.
Benham, 50, and Maguire, 55, were found not guilty by a jury at Basildon Crown Court today.
Essex Fire and Rescue Service has issued a statement after the court case.
Acting Chief Fire Officer, Adam Eckley said: “The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service confirms that following a lengthy and complex Serious Crime Investigation by Essex and Kent Police, two former fire fighters Anthony Benham and Ian Maguire have been found not guilty at Basildon Crown Court of charges of false imprisonment and indecent assault related to historic offences. The Service is pleased that this trial is now concluded as it has been a difficult experience for everyone involved.
“We are clear that any kind of intimidation, bullying or assault is unacceptable within the Fire and Rescue Service. We are moving forward as an organisation and going through a transformation and remain determined to have a modern service with the right values throughout the entire organisation.
“The Fire and Rescue Service has its own internal processes, which were put on hold when these allegations were referred to the Police. Following the conclusion of this trial we will be working with staff and unions to agree and manage the next steps regarding the internal process which needs to be concluded.”