A West Midlands Police inspector who accused his wife's lover of bogus motoring offences has been sentenced to 240 hours community service.
Mark Hession, who was described as having an exemplary record, was unanimously found guilty by a Stafford Crown Court jury yesterday of two charges of misconduct in a public office between January 1 and September 1 2005.
The court was told that Hession, who denied the charges, now faces dismissal from the force after a 22-year career.
Hession, a father-of-two, had used the Police National Database to find the personal details of Stuart Edwards and then issue notices of prosecution to him.
The trial heard that Hession (41) based in Walsall, had asked colleagues to check details of vehicles on the database. He then used that information to issue tickets, one for illegal parking and a second for jumping a red light.
The jury was told Mr Edwards sold his car before the notices arrived and did not own it when it was supposed to have gone through a red light.
Hession claimed Mr Edwards had made his life hell after he pursued his wife Kate. It had left Mrs Hession suffering a nervous breakdown and the pair were having marriage counselling.
Hession, from Walsall, was arrested on August 31 at the force training centre in Edgbaston, Birmingham. He has been in the police since the age of 18. He will now face a disciplinary hearing within the next eight weeks.
Sentencing him, Mr Justice Mitting said: "I am not going to send you to prison immediately. However, these offences would fully justify an immediate prison sentence.
"By your grossly foolish actions you undermined the trust of the public in you as a policeman.
"You allowed yourself to become obsessed in the friendship another man had with your wife. That allowed you to embark on a course of conduct that was unworthy of you and out of character."
Gerry Quirke, prosecuting, told Mr Justice Mitting: "It will be six to eight weeks for a disciplinary hearing before the Chief Constable but the sanction of dismissal is inevitable."
Hession accepted that he asked for the checks but denied making up the motoring offences. He said he feared for his own safety because of the serious criminals he came into contact with at work.
Rodney Perm, defending, told the judge: "This was not a free range of regular access to the Police National Computer. It was done nothing more than a warning shot.
"His world has fallen about him. It was wholly the wrong way to react to a crisis in his life. "