A police chief inspector has been cleared of misconduct after accusations that he had abused his position and had an affair with a junior officer.

David Rolls had been standing trial over claims that he had an affair with a "vulnerable" junior officer who was struggling with her mental health.

The former Sussex Police chief inspector was found not guilty of misconduct in a public office by a jury following a week-long trial.

Rolls, 46, resigned from the force in March 2023. He had denied the allegation and told the court it was a “fantasy”.

A Sussex Police spokesman said that internal misconduct proceedings would now be “progressed”.

He said: “The matter was referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct who directed that a local investigation by the force’s Professional Standards Department should be conducted.

“Criminal charges were later authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service last year.

“Now the criminal investigation has concluded, the force will progress internal misconduct proceedings.”

Prosecutors had claimed that Rolls had abused his position in the force and that someone in his position should have, or would have, realised that having sex with someone who was vulnerable was an “improper thing to do”.

But the former chief inspector refuted the claims, calling them a "fantasy", adding: “My children and my wife will always be the most important thing to me.”

Rolls also denied showing or sending naked photos of himself to the complainant but admitted that he would share such photos with his wife.

Detective chief inspector Mark Cullimore said: “It was important that this case was decided by a jury, and we are grateful to those members of the jury who carefully considered all of the evidence presented before the court.

“We acknowledge and respect the decision they came to. We are aware that such cases impact not only the people involved within the investigation but also those reading or following the trials in the media.

“This has been a lengthy investigation and I would like to thank all those who assisted with the case and the subsequent court process for their support and patience.”