Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 22:22 UK

IPCC questions for police inquiry

Terry Grange
The force investigated claims against a friend of former chief Terry Grange

Dyfed-Powys Police is to be examined over claims it failed to properly look at allegations against a friend of former chief constable Terry Grange.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will study how claims of child pornography and mortgage fraud against a senior judge were handled.

The judge's ex-wife took the High Court action after the IPCC dismissed her appeal over the force's investigation.

Mr Grange retired suddenly last November over an unrelated matter.

In 2006, the judge's then wife - who like him cannot be named for legal reasons - claimed that he had sexually abused young girls, looked at child pornography, had beaten her up and lied on a mortgage application.

Named only as X in the High Court on Thursday, she also said the judge had brought home transcripts of sex trials for his sexual gratification.

Time limit

The hearing was told her complaints were investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police, which told the Crown Prosecution Service there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.

In July 2007, the force dismissed X's complaints that its officers had failed to properly investigate her allegations, including that there was an "appearance of bias" because the judge was friendly with the force's then chief constable, Mr Grange.

The court heard X appealed against those decisions to the IPCC, and it ruled Dyfed-Powys Police should have registered the complaint about the "appearance of bias".

However, the hearing was told the IPCC dismissed X's appeal about the investigation, ruling that it had been received late in August, outside the strict 28-day time limit which governs such matters.

It was X's case that she posted her appeal in good time, but it was held up in the post.

Granting X permission to seek judicial review of the IPCC's decision, Mr Justice Mitting said the IPCC appeared to have accepted her assertion she had posted the letter on 20 August last year, even though it was stamped as being received only on 28 August.

Mr Justice Mitting said there was no prospect the IPCC would criticise the police decisions not to prosecute for child abuse and domestic violence.

Lawyers

But he added the police's failure to seize the judge's computer, and the fact X had given officers the name of his mortgage company, could possibly lead to a legitimate complaint that the investigations into mortgage fraud and child pornography were not conducted adequately.

The judge involved in the case has always protested his innocence, and said his ex-wife was trying to get back at him over their divorce, the hearing was told.

Mr Justice Mitting said: "I don't regard the possible opening of this appeal as something which could not give rise to any to legitimate relief to X or, given the nature of her allegations, the public."

The IPCC barrister told the court immediately after the judgment that it would treat X's appeal as having been lodged within time, and would consider it it.

Mr Grange retired suddenly after his former lover made misconduct allegations against him two months after their affair finished.

Last month, the IPCC upheld claims he had misused e-mails and a credit card.

The CPS said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him for misconduct in public office.




SEE ALSO
Police bosses defend chief's exit
22 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
Grange claims 'unfair' says force
26 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
Ex-police chief 'misused e-mail'
21 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
Police chief retires amid inquiry
19 Nov 07 |  South West Wales

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