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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 18:20 GMT
Brunstrom would show photos again
Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police chief constable
Mr Brunstrom apologised again for showing the pictures of Mr Gibney
The chief constable of North Wales Police has said he would show pictures of a decapitated biker again - if "safeguards" were in place.

Richard Brunstrom was criticised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for showing photos of Mark Gibney, 40, at a private briefing without telling his family.

Mr Brunstrom told his police authority he made a "stupid mistake".

The authority said it was determined that "lessons will be learned".

On Tuesday, Mr Brunstrom was asked by one authority member what he would have done if a "risk assessment" had been carried before the briefing when pictures of Mr Gibney were shown.

This message has been delivered by the police authority to the chief constable in the strongest possible terms as management advice
North Wales Police Authority

Mr Brunstrom replied: "I would do the same again - the question is the safeguards."

Those safeguards, Mr Brunstrom said, included making sure the family did not suffer.

He again apologised to the Gibney family for their distress and told members: "I was stupid and I made a stupid mistake I don't intend to repeat."

He also repeated his criticisms of the media for reporting the story.

He said: "I clearly placed too much trust in the behaviour and integrity of journalists. I allowed others to exploit a position that I did not anticipate.

"The error of judgment I was referring to was misplaced trust. "I have been called naive, that may be apparent. This was intended to be a celebratory meeting."

Mark Gibney (family photo)
Mark Gibney died in a motorcycle crash in 2003

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in its report earlier this month said Mr Brunstrom caused distress by showing pictures of motorcyclist Mark Gibney, from Merseyside.

The 40-year-oold died in 2003 when his bike crashed on a bend between Cerrigydrudion and Ruthin in Denbighshire.

An image of his severed head lying on a grass verge was shown to journalists and council officials during a private road safety briefing by the chief constable in April 2007.

The IPCC report said that Bill Gibney, Mark's father, had tried to shelter his family from detailed knowledge of the nature of his son's death.

In a statement on Tuesday, North Wales Police Authority said: "We are determined that lessons will be learned so that something like this does not happen again.

"This message has been delivered by the police authority to the chief constable in the strongest possible terms as management advice.

"This spells out the consequences of not adhering to the press protocol."

Error of judgement

The statement added: "The chief constable has accepted he made an error of judgement and has rightly apologised unreservedly to the Gibney family once again.

"The action plan devised by the chief constable is a positive development which we welcome.

"As an authority we will work closely with the chief constable and his team to put effective safeguards."

Councillor Hywel Eifion Jones, an authority member from Anglesey, said Mr Brunstrom should consider his position.

The authority did not ask Mr Brunstrom to resign, but it did query his relationship with the media.

One member, Councillor Terry Renshaw from Flintshire, spoke up for Mr Brunstrom.

He said the chief constable had been "naive" but not stupid, and his campaign against speeding had actively driven down road deaths.

The Gibney family was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.


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