Friday 23 March 2018

Firefighter indecently abused with frozen sausage by colleagues, court told

Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel

A firefighter was indecently abused by several of his colleagues with a frozen sausage, he told a court.

Novices on Green Watch at Tilbury fire station in Essex were subjected to degrading "initiations" and "pranks" during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Basildon Crown Court was told.

Anthony Benham, 50, of Stanford-le Hope, and Ian Maguire, 55, of Benfleet, allegedly carried out the abuse, jurors heard.

Both face four counts of indecent assault and 10 counts of false imprisonment between 1988 and 1997.

One firefighter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described to the jury how several of his colleagues sexually assaulted him with a frozen sausage.

He said he was "jumped on" by around four other officers who pulled his trousers down and bent him over a gym horse.

"My hands and feet were held to prevent me from kicking and lashing out," he added.

"The next thing I was aware there was something ... I presumed it was a frozen sausage but it may have been a mop handle or broom handle. It was cold with a rounded end.

"That was sort of teased around the cheeks of my bum to make me think 'You know where this is going', it was sort of a mind game.

"Later it did find a way to my bum.

"It was just a quick little inserted push just to indicate 'We're actually going for it' and then it ended."

He told the jury he did not think it was done for "sexual gratification" but was "intended to humiliate and knock you down a little bit".

"It was just another little prank that I put down to experience," he added.

In another incident he was left tied to a ladder outdoors in winter, naked and soaked in freezing water.

He said: "There was an atmosphere of excitement, people were jeering and shouting. It was quite apparent they're having a great time stitching someone up, really.

"I didn't want them to do it - I would have been hitting out verbally, but it didn't do any good."

"I remember felling extremely cold," he added.

"I was left there for a period of time."

The witness said it was "degrading" and that members of the public could have seen him while he was naked.

He was subjected to other incidents of verbal and physical abuse on a regular basis, the court was told.

"It was a very unpleasant environment to work in - intimidating, demoralising - and it ground me down," he added.

The alleged victim said he saw a photograph of another colleague involved in a similar incident.

"There was the gym horse, it was one individual leant over the gym horse with his trousers either off or round his ankles and another individual behind him, also with his genitals out," he added.

"I believe the photograph was staged to give the impression he was going to take him from behind."

He also told the jury he was locked alone in a room known as the "air lock" while several of his colleagues urinated on him.

"The skylight opened and basically I thought I was going to get a couple of buckets of water but I'm confident it was urine," he said.

"I felt pretty disgusted... felt quite dirty that someone had weed over me."

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