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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Guards sacked over child sex row
Abbey Wood
The guards denied harassing their colleague
A group of Ministry of Defence (MoD) security guards who complained about working with a man convicted of a child sex offence have been sacked.

Seven guards at the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) in Bristol, objected to working with a fellow guard.

He was allowed to return to work last year after being convicted of indecent assault on an eight-year-old girl.

The seven were suspended in November 2003 but dismissed in June for "gross misconduct", the MoD said.

The DPA, based at Abbey Wood in Bristol, said they had been sacked after a departmental disciplinary hearing.

'Nothing wrong'

A spokesman said: "We can confirm following a disciplinary hearing into charges of gross misconduct seven members of staff employed at MoD Abbey Wood were dismissed on Friday 18 June."

One of the sacked men, who preferred to remain anonymous, told BBC News: "We all feel unfairly treated by the MoD throughout this situation.

"I believe we did nothing wrong and an appeal to clear our names is ongoing."

The dismissed guards were accused of disclosing unauthorised information to the press and harassment of an MoD employee, which they denied.

The MoD spokesman said the convicted man had returned to work in July 2003 after a formal disciplinary hearing concluded there were no grounds to prevent him from carrying out his full duties.

His work would not bring him into contact with children, he added.

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