A senior police officer has been dismissed after he accepted 21 allegations of misconduct including that he contacted prostitutes while on duty.

Inspector Lee Lyons also accepted leaking information to journalists and a friend and being rude and agressive towards colleagues. 

The 40-year-old was dismissed this afternoon after a gross misconduct hearing, the first held in public by Sussex Police in line with new national rules. 

Chieft Constable Giles York said the inspector's behaviour "breached the boundaries between personal and professional life". 

Today it also emerged police had discussed criminal charges over the misconduct allegations with prosecutors, but prosecutors deemed the internal police process sufficient.

Mr Lyons did not attend the hearing but chief constable Giles York said the inspector had signed a document accepting all the allegations, which included throwing a paper plate at a member of catering staff.

He was represented at the hearing, held at police headquarters in Lewes, by Matt Webb from the Sussex branch of the Police Federation, who said Mr Lyons did not wish to say anything in mitigation.

Among the allegations Mr Lyons has accepted is that he used his personal phone at work to make 23 calls on one day alone last year to women believed to be prostitutes.

He also disclosed details on Facebook after seven-year-old Mary Shipstone was shot dead by her father Yasser Alromisse, 46, before Mr Alromisse turned the gun on himself outside her house in Northiam, near Rye.

While off-duty on September 11 last year, he posted: "Can't go into massive detail, and not for wider posting on FB. Estranged father shot daughter and then shot himself.

"He died at scene, she is currently at King's College, London; she will likely die soon but there is a chance she might pull through."

Mr Lyons also admitted having "formed and maintained a relationship with a local news reporter" from at least May 2012 to the present day and given the reporter information about police matters.

He admitted confirming to the reporter on August 2 2012 that a Hastings-based sergeant had been dismissed for, in the reporter's words, a "racist comment".

Among other matters, he also sent sensitive and restricted documents from his Sussex Police email account to his personal account.

Chief constable Giles York dismissed Mr Lyons with immediate effect.

He said Mr Lyons had showed "promise" in his early career but "for whatever reason the allegations found today demonstrated a pattern of behaviour that breached the boundaries between personal and professional life."

He said the behaviour "persisted even after receiving specific management intervention, falling a long way short of the standards of behaviour expected in Sussex Police". 

Sussex Police started investigating "after very sensitive details" of four cases were passed to a journalist who then sought clarification of the information.

Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney asked the anti-corruption unit to find the source of the leak and other incidents were discovered, police said. 

Mr Lyons was suspended on October 2, 2014. No complaint has been received about the matter from an external party.

DCC Olivia Pinkney said: "Lyons was passing on information that was operationally sensitive and may well have had an effect on victims or their families or may have had a negative impact on community tension.

"I asked our anti-corruption unit to investigate and Lyons was identified as the potential source. The investigation has been complex, but as soon as he was identified, we immediately suspended him."

Mr Lyons has the right to appeal against the decision.