Chief fire officer, 53, undermined own brigade's auction to win a 'nice red ...

Chief fire officer, 53, undermined own brigade's auction to win a 'nice red ...
Chief fire officer, 53, undermined own brigade's auction to win a 'nice red ...

A former chief fire officer deliberately undermined his own brigade's vehicle auction in order to win a 'nice red Land Rover for £500 to use at his daughter's wedding', a court has heard.

Stewart Edgar, the former head of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, is alleged to have abused his £120,000-a-year role to fraudulently sell a Land Rover Defender to a third-party company he was connected with.

It is also alleged that Edgar purposely and dishonestly ensured a rival bid of £8,250 for the 2003-plate vehicle was rejected after telling a colleague he had always wanted a red Land Rover for his daughter's wedding.  

Closing speeches were delivered at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, where the 53-year-old stands charged with a single count of fraud by abuse of position. 

Former chief fire officer, Stewart Edgar, pictured outside Birmingham Crown Court on October 11. He is alleged to have abused his position to sell a Land Rover Defender belonging to his brigade to a company he was connected to for £500

Former chief fire officer, Stewart Edgar, pictured outside Birmingham Crown Court on October 11. He is alleged to have abused his position to sell a Land Rover Defender belonging to his brigade to a company he was connected to for £500

The alleged sale took place between April and May 2018, shortly before he resigned from the fire service in June of the same year. 

A jury heard that Edgar controlled the sale process by using a third-party company to bid for the vehicle, which was being sold off after reaching the end of its service life, on his behalf during an auction he was running.

Edgar claims to have made 'an honest mistake' and insists he is 'not a fraudster'.

However, the court has previously heard he sent a text message in April 2018 to a contact at the third-party firm which later placed the winning Land Rover bid for him.

The text message read that the arrangement would be 'cleaner' and stop any 'silly FoI stuff', jurors heard. 

Edgar, though, told the court that he 'didn't think it was wrong' at the time to place a winning bid in an auction he was running.

Robin Shellard, prosecuting, said in his closing speech: 'With power, comes responsibility.

'A responsibility to act honestly in your dealings with your employer and that’s fundamental to the charge you will have to consider.

'We say

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