A Dorset Police officer has been jailed for five months for a harassment offence.

Police Constable Andrew Loveless, 45, was sentenced at Southampton Magistrates' Court today, Monday March 12, after pleading guilty to one count of harassment without violence at a previous hearing.

Loveless was also issued with a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his victim.

The offence related to a personal matter and was not connected to his role as a police officer. He was known to his victim.

The circumstances of the offence related to him sending messages about his victim to a number of other people, which caused her distress.

Tim Whittle, of Dorset Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “Dorset Police takes all such allegations extremely seriously and a full and robust investigation was initiated by the Professional Standards Department. I would like to praise the victim for her bravery in coming forward, reporting the offences and supporting the prosecution.

“Andrew Loveless has been suspended from duty since the allegation and, following his conviction, a misconduct hearing will be held in due course.

"We expect the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from our staff and officers and I would like to reassure the public that we will proactively investigate any officer or staff member believed to be involved in criminal or corrupt behaviour."