Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Community service for ex-officer

Andrew Liptrot
Mr Liptrot pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office

A former Lancashire police officer who abused his police powers to uncover his wife's affair has been sentenced to 150 hours' community service.

Andrew Liptrot, 47, seized CCTV from two pubs where he suspected his wife had met another man, on the pretext he was investigating a crime.

He was cleared of assault but admitted seven counts of misconduct in a public office in January.

Liptrot, of Lostock Hall near Preston, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court.

The defendant, a crime prevention officer based in Accrington, had been suspended from duty since June 2008 and had resigned from the force following an internal disciplinary hearing earlier this year.

'Robust stance'

Liptrot got into trouble after his six-year marriage to wife Karen, an air stewardess, deteriorated after she began an affair with his best friend Darren Watson.

Liptrot confessed to using the police computer at work to spy on Mr Watson to find out "incriminating" information - but denied ever hurting his wife.

Det Supt Martyn Leveridge from Lancashire Constabulary's Professional Standards Department 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 conviction at court and his resignation from the force.

"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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