TWO former firefighters will appear in court after a police probe into alleged abuse in the Essex service.

Anthony Benham, 49, from Stanford-le-Hope, and Ian Maguire, 55, from Benfleet, have been told to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 17.

Last June, Essex Police were called in to investigate allegations of offences at the former Tilbury fire station dating back to the Eighties.

Martin Sibley, 48, a firefighter for 24 years, was found hanged last June at his home in Colchester, after he had been interviewed by police in relation to the probe.

An open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death.

A police spokesman said: “Detectives interviewed more than 100 people in this large and complex investigation.

“A full file of evidence was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service’s complex casework unit, which has advised twomen should face prosecution.

“Essex Police have obtained summonses for two former firefighters for misconduct in public office.”