Karl Francis case to be reviewed by South Wales Police

Karl Francis
Image caption Karl Francis has now been taken off the sex offenders register

South Wales Police have appointed a senior officer to review its investigation of a film maker cautioned over indecent images of children.

Karl Francis, of Cardiff, was registered as a sex offender for two years after nine charges were dropped.

He insisted he was researching a film project and accepted a caution mainly to retrieve the work on his computer.

Mr Francis has complained about the way evidence, witnesses and his personal property were handled in the case.

In July, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) partially upheld his complaints against South Wales Police and asked the force to investigate the matter.

Mr Francis said: "I'm very pleased they're reviewing the case - it's taken a long time but I expect it to be open and fair."

"I think we have a dialogue now, but I would like to meet the investigating officer," he added.

"If they want to talk to you when they're arresting you, they should talk to you when you complain."

Artistic research

Mr Francis said he wrote to the chief constable of South Wales Police in 2003 alerting him to the fact that he was researching child abuse and paedophilia for two film projects.

He claimed he received a letter back giving him permission.

Detectives from the force subsequently launched an investigation and in 2007 arrested Mr Francis and seized his computer.

The former BBC Wales head of drama was charged with nine offences, all of which he denied.

In July 2009 a judge at Cardiff Crown Court heard that he had accepted a police caution on the basis that he had 18 indecent images relating to two counts.

The two counts were not proceeded with, and not guilty verdicts were recorded on the other seven, which were dropped.

After accepting the caution, Mr Francis was registered as a sex offender for a period of two years, which expired in July 2011.

Mr Francis later said that he accepted a caution primarily to retrieve the computer which he said contained his "entire intellectual property", as he did not have copies.

A letter to Mr Francis from Ch Supt Tim Jones, head of professional standards at the force, confirmed the force's review of its investigation into him following the IPCC ruling.

It said: "I have appointed a Senior Member of the Force Major Crime Review Unit to undertake a full review of the actions of South Wales Police in conducting the criminal investigation of the allegations made against you."

"Should the review identify inappropriate or unacceptable conduct on the part of any individual involved in the criminal investigation then appropriate action will be taken in that regard."

Mr Francis has agreed to drop two other complaints relating to the nature of his arrest and the conduct of a custody sergeant, after the force highlighted the three-year time lag between those events and his complaints about them.

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