Firefighter found dead

A firefighter has been found dead after being spoken to by police investigating sex abuse allegations within a fire service. The man, who was in his 40s, was found dead at his home in Colchester on Monday.

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Firefighter named

The firefighter found dead at his home after being spoken to by police investigating sex abuse allegations has been named as father-of-two Martin Sibley.

The 48 year old from Colchester, was discovered at his home on Monday, the inquest opening in Chelmsford heard this afternoon.

A post-mortem found the cause of death to be suspension.

It emerged yesterday that Essex County Fire and Rescue Service had alerted police after being told of sex abuse claims at fire stations in Essex believed to date back to the 1980s.

Police and the fire service have not commented on the exact nature of the inquiry but it is understood the allegations are of a sexual nature, possibly linked to initiation ceremonies.

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Essex Fire Service managers told of potential criminal activity

Essex Fire and Rescue Service managers referred the matter to Essex Police Credit: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Confirming the investigation, a spokesman for the fire service said:

"During an internal investigation, senior managers were made aware of allegations of potential criminal activity within the service.

"These matters were alleged to have happened some time ago but, due to their serious nature and following clear legal advice, managers referred the matter to Essex Police.

"Since then, the service has been co-operating fully with the police inquiry and has advised staff to do the same."

Man had been questioned over sex abuse claims

The firefighter, who was in his 40s, was found dead at his home in Colchester on Monday.

It emerged yesterday that Essex Fire and Rescue Service alerted police after being told of sex abuse claims at fire stations in Essex believed to date back to the 1980s.

Essex Police confirmed that it had referred the man's death, which is not being treated as suspicious, to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) because the man had recently been spoken to by officers.

The IPCC has referred the matter back to Essex Police after concluding it was satisfied with the force's handling of the case.