A disgraced police officer who groped a vulnerable domestic abuse victim and pursued other women has been jailed for two years.

Ihsan Ali, of Bacup, Lancashire, was a response officer with Lancashire Police but has now been convicted of four counts of misconduct in public office, at Preston Crown Court.

The 40-year-old was found guilty on Tuesday (6 February) and sentenced to two years for each count, to run concurrently.

The court had heard during a seven-day trial that he pursued four women, sending them all messages from his personal phone, and even kissed and groped one of his victims.

The force said that concerns were raised about Ali in October 2016 before his conduct and an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary's professional standards department began.

He was arrested in April 2017 and immediately suspended from duty and will face internal disciplinary proceedings in due course. The court was told that Ali had worked in Blackburn and Burnley before his arrest.

Judge Mark Brown, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, said according to the Lancashire Telegraph: "Over a period of many months there was a campaign of grooming and manipulative conduct for a sexual purpose.

"There can be no doubt the women's tryst in the police will have been adversely affected."

The court heard that he handed his personal phone number to the four female victims after being sent to investigate complaints they had made of criminal behaviour.

The married defendant sent his victims photographs of himself in a swimming pool and told another that he was looking for a new wife and she would make a good one.

One victim said that she shared a mutual kiss with Ali he then groped her and made sexually suggestive comments, before she asked him to leave, the court heard.

A jury was told that Ali asked her to send pictures of herself and the victim felt as if Ali had groomed her.

Ali declined to take the stand but through his Defence lawyer, Mark Monaghan, Ali said he accepted his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct but not the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.