Thursday, July 02, 2009

Film director put on sex register

Karl Francis
Karl Francis had denied charges of downloading child pornography

A film director is being put on the sex offenders register after admitting having indecent images of children.

Karl Francis, 66, of Cardiff, denied nine charges, and said he had been researching a film on trafficking.

The ex-BBC Wales head of drama accepted a police caution on the basis he had 18 indecent images relating to two counts, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

A judge recorded not guilty verdicts on the remaining counts. Francis said his case showed writers were vulnerable.

After the hearing, Francis said he still planned to make the film about human trafficking but he had not been able to work on it for around a year.

"All I was doing was to do with this work," he said in a statement.

Francis will be on the sex offenders register for two years.

He also said he wanted the legal system to address the issue of guidelines for filmmakers and writers.

"The small man who digs and finds the truth must be protected," said Francis, who has directed films such as Rebecca's Daughter starring Peter O'Toole and Joely Richardson.

He also claimed he wrote to the chief constable of South Wales Police in 2003 explaining what he was doing and he received a letter back giving him permission.

South Wales Police said they were investigating his claim.

When Francis was asked why he had accepted a caution when it meant he would be on the sex offenders register, he said there was "very good reason".

"When I decide to to talk to the media in full, I'll explain it properly," he said.

Francis also directed One Of The Hollywood Ten in 2000, starring Jeff Goldblum and Greta Scacchi.




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