A police force has defended its decision to withhold information about one of its own officers who was found hanged on the day he was due to be charged with child sex offences.
PC Gareth Gricks, 53, was found dead at his home in Norfolk on August 3, the day he was due to be charged in relation to allegations that he had incited three under-age girls in Thailand to carry out sex acts online.
He had been arrested in May after returning from a two-week break in Thailand and was dismissed for gross misconduct in July after police found 100 indecent images of children on his home computer.
But news of the divorced grandfatherâ€™s arrest and subsequent death only emerged yesterday after the Norfolk Constabulary was forced to release details following requests from the media.
In a statement Norfolk Constabularyâ€™s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean confirmed that Mr Gricks would have been charged on the day of his death.
He added: â€œIn recognition of his role and the serious nature of the offences he was due to face, it is right and proper that this information is placed in the public domain, not only to demonstrate police action but also to give victims of sexual abuse a voice when this cannot be achieved through the judicial process.â€
But the force has been accused of attempting to manage the release of the information rather than being completely transparent.
In a statement last night a spokesman for the force defended the delayed release of the information.
The spokesman said: â€œThere was always a plan to publish the information. As a result of his death, we were required to immediately take into consideration any potential impact on the Coronerâ€™s investigation, any other ongoing investigations which may be linked, but also, and of paramount importance in this case, the wishes and feelings of family members who had until that time been unaware of the full details of the case. There were, at that time, no safeguarding issues to consider.
â€œFollowing consultation with the relevant parties, it was agreed the information would be published post inquest or earlier, should parts of the information be brought into the public arena and only once family were fully briefed and supported.â€
Police officer facing child sex charges is found hanged