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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Force faces biker photo inquiry
Mark Gibney (family photo)
Mark Gibney died in a motorbike crash in 2003
A police force's decision to show pictures of a decaptitated motorcyclist to journalists without asking the dead man's family will be investigated.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has confirmed it will carry out an independent review into the North Wales Police case.

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom showed the images of Mark Gibney last week to show the dangers of speeding.

Mr Gibney's family have called for Mr Brunstrom to be sacked.

North Wales Police has apologised to the family "for the distress caused by the publicity", but IPCC commissioner Tom Davies said the circumstances surrounding Mr Gibney's death were "clearly distressing to his family and friends".

"Following a voluntary referral from the North Wales Police Authority I have decided the IPCC will independently review the issues leading up to the road safety briefing held by the force," he said.

"I have offered to meet the family to discuss the IPCC role.

"I will also ensure that they are kept informed of the progress of our review."

Headless torso

Mr Gibney, 40, was killed when his bike crashed on a bend on the B5105 between Cerrigydrudion and Ruthin in Denbighshire in 2003.

A graphic image of Mr Gibney's severed head, lying on a grass verge, was shown to journalists and council officials during a private road safety briefing by Mr Brunstrom last week.

Mr Gibney's headless torso was also shown, as well as the bodies of two young men who died in a different crash.

Mr Brunstrom said he was showing the images to "give the context" of his anti-speeding campaign, but confirmed that permission had not been sought from Mr Gibney's family, who come from Merseyside.


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