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Inqeust: Fireman was being investigated by police
7:20am Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
A FORMER Thurrock firefighter was found hanged in his home hours after being interviewed by police.
Martin Sibley had been questioned by police after allegations of historic and institutional sex abuse within the county’s fire service, an inquest heard.
During a break, he returned home from Colchester police station. He was later found hanged.
His body was discovered on June 17. A post mortem revealed the cause of death as suspension.
Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray told the hearing: “He had been speaking to police very shortly before his death. He was going to return to the police station.
“I have a letter from his mother for background. She says he panicked and did this. No note was found.”
Officers involved in the investigation and interview have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
They are continuing with the investigation into the fire service.
Mr Sibley, 48, of Keymer Way, Colchester, served for 24 years as a firefighter in Thurrock and Colchester.
He leaves behind his mum, Evelyn, sister, Jacquie, and daughters Holly and Millie.
Mrs Beasley-Murray told the inquest she could not be sure Mr Sibley intended to kill himself. She also rejected declaring it an accident.
Earlier this year, an investigation was launched after several allegations of crimes within the fire service.
It was claimed initiation ceremonies, particularly in the Eighties, had got out of control and people were being sexually abused.
In a joint statement, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police said: “The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is conducting a criminal investigation into historic allegations of serious criminal offences within the fire service.
“A number of people have been spoken to by police, but at this time no one has been arrested.
“Essex Police had made an appointment to speak to Mr Sibley on June 17, 2013, however his death occurred before this was completed.”
A statement was released by Mr Sibley’s family after his death.
It said: “Martin loved life and enjoyed being active.
“His favourite times were spent during days out with mum, Holly, Millie, and his dog, Reggie.
“Martin will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”
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