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King’s Lynn PC hanged himself at home - Shamed cop was facing child sex offences

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A former Lynn police officer committed suicide just hours before he was due to be charged with child sex offences, an inquest heard.

PC Gareth Gricks, 53, was facing allegations of paedophile activity with children from South East Asia and a young woman in the UK.

He had already been sacked after 19 years’ service with Norfolk Police and was set to be charged with nine offences.

But on the day he was due to answer bail, the divorced father-of-three was discovered hanging in the garage at his home in Dunton, near Fakenham.

Recording a verdict of suicide at an inquest in Norwich on Tuesday, coroner Jacqueline Lake said: “In light of the impending court case and notes left by Mr Gricks for his family, and also taking into account his mode of death, I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he took his own life.”

The coroner read a statement from PC Gricks’ mother Shirley Matthews which revealed he had been “finding life difficult” before his death.

It read: “It was clear that he had been finding life difficult because of things that were happening in his personal life.

“I have no doubt that he was trying to put on a brave face for the sake of his family and friends. But I believe he was feeling low and depressed in the weeks before he died.

“Gareth was a very popular person who will be much missed by his family and friends.”

A statement was also read from Mr Gricks’ sister Angela Southgate, who found her brother hanging in the garage of his home on August 6 this year. She had gone to look for him after receiving a phone call from the police to say he had not answered his bail that morning.

PC Gricks had been told he would be charged with three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and one of making indecent images of children.

He was also facing five counts of sexual assault against an adult female in this country.

PC Gricks was first arrested in May, the day after he returned from a holiday in Thailand after allegations were made to police.

He was released on bail but sacked for gross misconduct on July 15.

Norfolk Constabulary declined to comment on the conclusion of the inquest.

The force confirmed none of the alleged offences took place while he was on duty.

 

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