A FORMER police officer found guilty of gross misconduct would have been sacked if he hadn't already resigned.

The allegations against ex-constable Jason Vernon have been proven at Avon and Somerset Police HQ today (Friday).

He was accused of breaching the standards of professional behaviour relating to honesty and integrity; authority, respect and courtesy; equality and diversity; and discreditable conduct.

The breaches related to an inappropriate relationship Vernon formed with two vulnerable women who he came into contact with during the course of his duties.

He was also found to have made a false statement to his sergeant when he claimed he was going to a nightclub to collect CCTV evidence when he was in fact going to see one of the women.

The hearing concluded that had Vernon not resigned last month, he would have been dismissed.

Supt Richard Corrigan, head of the force's Professional Standards Department, said: “The actions of Jason Vernon fell well below the standard we expect from each and every officer.

“He used his position to pursue and engage in an improper relationship with two women who he met through the course of his professional duties. The fact that both women were clearly vulnerable is an aggravating factor.

“His actions are in stark contrast to the conduct of the majority of our officers, staff and volunteers who always act to safeguard those most vulnerable and support them appropriately.”

Vernon will now be placed on the National College of Policing’s barred list preventing him from working within policing and certain law enforcement bodies.