COMPLAINTS about Hampshire Constabulary’s top legal expert have been referred to the body which investigates allegations against police forces.

Campaigning parent John Caine has repeatedly criticised the force solicitor, Roger Trencher, following the conviction of a sex offender who taught at The Arnewood School in New Milton.

Now Hampshire police have referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following a High Court hearing.

Mr Caine has received an email from Maurice Smart, a member of the force’s professional standards department, who says: “I have submitted a voluntary referral to the IOPC regarding the matters that you have raised against Mr Trencher.”

New Forest Post:

In 2016 ex-teacher Tyrone Mark was jailed for six months after almost 200 indecent images of children were found on his laptop and mobile phone.

Mark, of Caerphilly in Wales, committed the offences after he was sacked from Arnewood in 2014 over his “inappropriate relationship” with a female student.

Mr Caine says the offences could have been prevented if Mark’s friendship with the girl had been investigated when it came to light in 2012.

After police finally launched an inquiry in 2014 they unearthed more than 180 indecent images of children, none of which related to anyone associated with Arnewood.

Mark was jailed at Southampton Crown Court after he admitted 17 offences.

New Forest Post:

Mr Caine has criticised Hampshire Constabulary over how it handled the case and his subsequent complaints.

He said: “Two referrals relating to Tyrone Mark were made - the first in 2012 and the second in 2013. Despite overwhelming evidence both referrals were kept out of the police record management system.

“The offences Mark was subsequently convicted of were carried out after the referrals were made.

“They could all have been prevented if police had recorded and investigated the (Arnewood) case when it was first reported.”

Hampshire Constabulary said it was unable to comment on an ongoing investigation.

An IPOC spokesman added: “We will determine what, if any, level of involvement we will have.”