Ex-officer found dead faced charges
A former police officer has been found dead on the day he was due to be charged with a series of serious sexual offences.
Norfolk Police said that Pc Gareth Gricks, 53, was found dead at his home in Dunton, near Fakenham, on August 6.
The force said that he was suspected of being involved in online child sex abuse involving victims from South East Asia, using online forums to make contact with young girls.
He would have been charged with nine offences, including three counts of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence, making indecent images of children and five offences of sexual assault against a woman.
A coroner's inquest opening heard he was found hanging from a beam in his garage by a family member.
Gricks is understood to have told his family some details about the investigation a few days earlier.
The divorcee, who has adult children, was arrested at his home after returning from a holiday in Thailand in July.
He had since been dismissed from the force for gross misconduct.
The charges relate to multiple possible victims thought to be aged over 10 and under 16. The offence against the woman was committed in the UK.
About 100 indecent images were found on his computer.
None of the offences was committed while he was on duty.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nick Dean said: "Norfolk Constabulary took immediate action on being notified of the officer's suspected criminal activity.
"As a result of his death, there can be no criminal prosecution and the investigation, effectively, ceases.
"However, in recognition of his role and the serious nature of the offences he was due to face, it is right and proper that this information is placed in the public domain, not only to demonstrate police action but also to give victims of sexual abuse a voice when this cannot be achieved through the judicial process."
The force said that although Gricks would have sometimes had contact with children through his duties, he had never worked in a role which specifically led to him working with juveniles or victims of child sex abuse.
He had worked for the force for nearly 20 years, mostly in the King's Lynn area.
In a death notice published in the Eastern Daily Press on August 13, Gricks was described as "a dearly-loved dad, granddad, son and brother, who will be sadly missed by all his family and friends."
He had a profile on the website Badoo, described as a place to make friends and date.
Describing himself as laid back, humorous and fun loving, he wrote: "I work shifts and have plenty of time off for travelling during the week or weekends, so don't worry about distance!
"I am romantic and like to eat out or chill out at home."