Coventry & Warwickshire

Fire service trio in court over Warwickshire deaths

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, Ian Reid, John Averis
Image caption Three of the men died in the building, while the fourth died in hospital

Three fire service managers have appeared in court charged over the deaths of four firefighters who died in a warehouse blaze in 2007.

Timothy Woodward and Paul Simmons and Adrian Ashley are charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Warwickshire County Council also faces a charge of failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees.

None of the defendants was required to enter a plea at Warwick Crown Court in Leamington Spa.

Station manager Timothy Woodward, 50, and watch managers Paul Simmons, 50, and Adrian Ashley, 45, all from Warwickshire, were bailed until a further hearing which is expected to take place at Stafford Crown Court.

Firefighters Ian Reid, John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley died in the warehouse blaze in Atherstone-on-Stour in November 2007.

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