In April 2023, a man aged 43 was arrested under suspicion of harassing Wayne Brown, the newly-appointed head of West Midlands Fire Service. The accused, Benjamin Walker, a former crew manager at Gateshead East Community Fire Station.
It is alleged that Mr. Brown was subjected to harassment through social media, email, and letters. Benjamin Walker was released on bail while further investigations were being carried out, according to West Midlands Police. The case was scheduled to be presented at Birmingham Magistrates Court but was later vacated.
Ben walker's history of harassment.
This is not the first instance of harassment involving Ben Walker. In 2011, he initiated a campaign of harassment against his estranged wife right after being convicted for violently assaulting her. The violent nature of his actions included punching, kicking, throttling, and even threatening her with a power drill. Even after being convicted for assault by beating and common assault, Walker's abuse persisted.
He bombarded his wife, using text messages that left her feeling "suicidal," as described in the Newcastle Magistrates' Court. Walker, who had been residing at his father's house in Staffordshire after moving out of their shared High Heaton home, pleaded guilty to the charges of harassment. He expressed hope that he could now "start his life again."
During the court proceedings, prosecutor Rebecca Gibson highlighted Walker's "vile campaign of harassment" against his wife, whom he had met online and married after a six-month romance. The Crown requested a restraining order, while the defense argued that it was unnecessary since Walker accepted that the marriage was over and he planned to move away. Despite this, he continued to send his wife over 100 text messages since that day.
In a 2015 article with FireEngineering he said
“Following much personal strife (divorce, loss of finances, being homeless, being forced to use food banks, and other such misfortunes), I spent my welfare cheque on undertaking the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) examinations. I didn’t have access to any research materials; just my professional experience and some kind firefighters in Staffordshire, England, gave me some obsolete training manuals while I used the Internet at the local library.”
“I was offered my current position, leading Compartment Fire Behaviour Training and Tactical Firefighting at the London Fire Brigade Training School (Academy). I have also been co-opted onto the branch board of the IFE, working under the eminent Bill Gough, running a young professionals network, and attempting to establish an International Placement Program to further Fire service understanding and relationships globally.”
In 2015 Walker worked as a Tactical Firefighting and Live Fire Instructor for the London Fire Brigade, During this time is where Ben walker's and Wayne Brown's stories cross path. Wayne Brown spent 27 years with the London Fire Brigade, eventually rising to the position of Assistant Commissioner.