Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Policeman cleared of beating wife

Andrew Liptrot
Mr Liptrot pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office

A former policeman accused of beating up his wife after discovering she was having an affair with his best friend has been cleared of assault.

Andrew Liptrot, 47, admitted becoming "obsessed" with his wife's infidelity and using a police computer to spy on her lover, but denied hurting her.

At Preston Crown Court he was acquitted of two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one of common assault.

Liptrot has admitted seven counts of misconduct in a public office.

Liptrot, who was a crime prevention officer with Lancashire Police, based in Accrington, said his six-year marriage to wife Karen, an air stewardess, deteriorated after she began an affair with his best friend Darren Watson.

CCTV seized

He said he abused his position by seizing CCTV from two pubs where he suspected the couple had met, on the pretext he was investigating a crime.

Liptrot said on one occasion he had pushed his wife outside the house wearing only a dressing gown, which then fell off, to calm her down during a row.

He told the court that bruises on her wrists were the result of wearing handcuffs in bed.

Judge Robert Brown bailed Liptrot until 10 March when he will be sentenced for the misconduct offences.

He said: "You must not take the fact that you have been released on bail as an indication of what your sentence will be."

'Robust stance'

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said Mr Liptrot had been suspended from duty since June.

He resigned following an internal disciplinary hearing earlier this month.

A police spokesman said: "This individual's conduct has been found to have fallen well short of the high professional standards of behaviour expected of a police officer, and the constabulary has taken a robust stance to investigating this case, which has resulted in his resignation.

"Lancashire Constabulary accepts the verdict of the court and it is disappointing that the behaviour of one employee, as in this case, can potentially undermine the valued work carried out by the constabulary on a day-to-day basis."

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