Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Two Beefeaters sacked from Tower of London for bullying first female Yeoman
By Sophie Borland and David Wilkes
Two Beefeaters have been sacked for bullying the first woman to join their ranks.
Colleagues said Mark Sanders-Crook and Bob Brown had been dismissed and would have to leave their grace-and-favour homes in the Tower of London after being found guilty of harassing Moira Cameron.
Tower authorities started the internal investigation last month following allegations that Miss Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia had been tampered with, 'nasty' notes were left in her locker and her uniform defaced.
The case against a third Yeoman Warder - the Beefeaters' official title - was not proven.
Bullied: Two male Beefeaters have been sacked following an investigation into allegations of harassment by the first female Beefeater Moira Cameron
Former Grenadier Guardsman Mr Sanders-Crook, 44, was the first Yeoman Warder in the Tower's history to follow in his father's footsteps when he was sworn in to his job in 2005. His father Ray worked there from 1983 to 2000.
Last night Mr Sanders-Crook's mother Maureen accused the Tower authorities of blowing the incident out of proportion and claimed her son was being punished simply for not talking to Miss Cameron.
She said: 'He spent 22 years in the Army and he was the most decorated soldier at the Tower.
'He has been charged with not talking to her outside working hours. How is that harassment? He has been absolutely stitched up - and all just for keeping himself to himself.
Fired: Mark Sanders-Crook will have to leave his grace-and-favour home in the Tower of London
'They don't understand what it's like to live in a tight-knit community like all the Beefeaters do at the Tower. To put a single woman in that community was wrong in the first place.
'It was Mark's dream to be a Beefeater since he first visited the Tower when he was 17. He is very upset at what's happened. He went there for the honour and loyalty of the job and they have treated him like dirt.
'This has now made him homeless. He has a wife and has two children at school. What Moira Cameron's done by complaining will affect all of them.
'The whole thing could have been avoided if someone senior had just told Mark and Moira to sort it out by talking things through.'
Mr Brown, 57, is believed to have worked at the Tower for around three years.
Like Mr Sanders-Crook, he is understood to be a family man with children and to live in accommodation at the Tower.
Miss Cameron, 44, is said to have lost her hair through stress-related alopecia during the alleged hate campaign.
Last night she was on guard outside the Tower of London. She refused to be drawn on the sackings, saying: 'I'm afraid I can't say anything about it.'
But a friend, who would not be identified, said: 'We're very happy about this. It's justice and they deserve to go. They made her life very miserable. I believe the two of them just conspired between themselves.'
A Tower of London spokesman said the two sacked men have the right to lodge an appeal within a week, and the third will return to work shortly.
Miss Cameron, from Argyll in Scotland, joined the Army at the age of 20 and served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.
She qualified to be a Yeoman Warder in July 2007 after completing the required minimum 22 years in the armed forces.
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