A MAN has lost his job after being wrongly and maliciously accused of a horrific sex crime.

Ian Adams was working at Ikea in Edmonton as a trolley collector for contractor, Symonds Hydroclean.

The 51-year-old, of Aldriche Way, Highams Park, started work less than two months ago and, he says, was doing well and had been promoted to the job of charge hand, a supervisory role.

But he was stunned to receive a call from Symonds Hydroclean telling him that Ikea had barred him from the store because of an "allegation".

He then received official confirmation that his contract had been terminated with one week's notice because of "concerns raised by the client".

After further investigation by Mr Adams, he was given a copy of a malicious letter which falsely claimed he had raped a woman and her children.

The letter, which is littered with spelling mistakes, also contains a false name and address and the sender claims to work for the Waltham Forest Guardian, threatening to write "somethick" about the Ikea store.

The writer alleges Mr Adams raped his wife and his two daughters four months ago and that police "will be looking into the matter".

But Mr Adams has no record of any arrests or convictions for any sexual offence and police have confirmed to the Guardian that they have not received any reports about him.

He told the Guardian: "This has ruined my life. When I apply for jobs, they will want to ask me why I left my last job and I won't be able to lie. I fear nobody will employ me.

"I have now started drinking, I am on anti-depressants and sleeping pills."

Keith Paul, HR manager for Symonds Hydroclean, said he felt "very uncomfortable" sacking Mr Adams, as he had investigated the matter and concluded that the allegations were false.

He added: "We had to let him go. The client did not want him on the site and I have no control over that at all. The Edmonton store is the only site in the area where we have work."

An Ikea spokeswoman said: "We asked Symonds to carry out an internal investigation and while they do that we are not happy for Mr Adams to be on our premises.

"If they concluded the letter to be a fabrication, Mr Adams can come back, but we have not heard anything."

The spokeswoman added it was "not Ikea's place to comment" about the effect of the slur on Mr Adams.

She said: "It is extremely unfortunate but the responsibility lies with the employer."