`Porn video' firefighter loses sacking claim

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The Independent Online
A firefighter lost his claim for unfair dismissal yesterday after he was sacked for making a hard core pornographic video which included jokes about the fire service.

Mark Gregory, 26, was sacked for gross misconduct last August from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service after copies of the video were shown in at least five fire stations across the county.

In the hour-long film Mr Gregory, who was married at the time, is heard telling his girlfriend, Janine, "What do you think of firemen now?" and "This one's for Red Watch".

The Nottingham tribunal heard that Mr Gregory, who served with the brigade for more than eight years, made the film in a hotel room in West Bridgford, Nottingham, in March last year.

He claimed the video was for private use only, although he admitted in the hearing yesterday he had passed a copy to a friend. "It was just a light-hearted thing, in my own time. She [his girlfriend] was quite excited that someone else might be watching it. I told her that other people might watch it."

Mr Gregory said he covered up for colleagues when he was interviewed by senior fire officers. "I am trying not to get any other fire officer implicated. I am trying to save my job. I am a blue-eyed boy and a high- flier and the next minute I am looking at losing my job.

"My head was spinning. You are fighting to protect other people and to protect yourself at that stage. I have lost my job, lost my wife and I was in complete turmoil and, yes, at that stage I put my colleagues first."

But the fire service argued that he was guilty of gross misconduct and had distributed the video, committing a criminal offence. He was dismissed.

Mr Gregory, of Nuthall, Nottingham, was cautioned by police after the video was discovered, but was not charged.

The tribunal chairman, Derek Richards, said: "He must have realised that the consequence of asking anybody else to make copies of the video was that it was likely it would be seen by others. We find it was gross misconduct."

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