Married fire chief, 49, is fined £200 for breaking lockdown rules after driving 20 miles to spend afternoons with his former secretary, 34, at her home
- Mark Andrews is Deputy Chief Officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
- He drove 20 miles to see Anna Colwell even though she no longer works for him
- Pair, who are under investigation, have been fined for breaking lockdown rules
A married fire chief under investigation for visiting his former secretary at her home during lockdown has been fined £200 for breaking Covid restrictions.
Mark Andrews, 49, the £100,000-a-year Deputy Chief Officer at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, drove 20 miles to see Anna Colwell, 34, even though she no longer works for him.
The father-of-two initially claimed they were ‘work colleagues’ but later admitted that Mrs Colwell is now employed by an entirely separate fire brigade.
He was pictured visiting Mrs Colwell’s home in Worthing, West Sussex and the pair were also photographed driving around in her white Mini Cooper without masks.
Mark Andrews (left), 49, the £100,000-a-year Deputy Chief Officer at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, is being investigated for visiting his former secretary Anna Colwell, 34, (right)
Married Mr Andrews and his former secretary Mrs Colwall were pictured travelling in her Mini without wearing masks despite the fact that they are not in the same household
In August, Mr Andrews re-joined West Sussex Fire Service where he began his career
Now Mr Andrews and his former secretary, who works for the neighbouring East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, have both been fined £200 for breaking lockdown rules.
He could also lose his £105,000 job as deputy fire chief of West Sussex if he is found to have visited his former secretary during work hours.
Both Mr Andrews, who lives in a £1.5m mansion with his wife Judy, 58, and Mrs Colwell, 34, who is believed to be separated from her husband, Richard, are under investigation by their respective fire brigades for their conduct.
However, despite the pair being paid by the taxpayer both brigades have refused to reveal whether the are still working for them.
Both brigades have also refused to make public the outcome of their disciplinary investigations.
Mr Andrews is married to Judy Andrews (left), 58, with whom he has a son and daughter. Mrs Colwell (right) was hired as his assistant last April, in which he chaired the recruiting panel
Government rules state that two households should not mix to help battle the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Andrews has been a strong supporter of the anti-Covid rules and is vice-chair of the Sussex Resilience Forum, a body made up of emergency and contingency support groups.
Last month it tweeted: ‘Not only are we in a national lockdown but the £Sussex LRF has declared a major incident in order that public services can escalate their response to the unprecedented pressures of #Covid19 on the county. Please follow government rules and stay at home.’
Mr Andrews and Mrs Colwell, a mother of two young boys, met while she was working as a civilian worker for Sussex Police which shares the same HQ in Lewes as the East Sussex fire service.
When Mr Andrews was looking for an assistant last April, she applied for the job and he chaired the interview panel which appointed her.
In August, he re-joined West Sussex Fire Service where he began his career more than 25 years ago, but their friendship continued after his departure.
Neither fire brigade would indicate how long the investigations would last or when they would conclude.
A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: ‘A disciplinary investigation is continuing. The outcome of disciplinary investigations are not made public.
‘West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service takes any breach of COVID-19 regulations very seriously and will take appropriate action where necessary.’
A spokesperson for East Sussex Fire & Rescue said: ‘The service does not make public any internal disciplinary investigations or outcomes.
‘We take seriously any allegations of breaches of Covid regulations and take appropriate action where necessary.’