A former Greater Manchester Police officer who sent sexual messages to women he encountered as victims of crime in an "appalling breach of trust" has been barred.

Mark Turner was convicted at Preston Crown Court earlier this year of gaining unauthorised access to material.

Concerns were raised about his conduct and it was found the 38-year-old had sent sexual messages and entered into sexual relationships with two women he encountered as victims of crime.

The former police community support officer also agreed to exchange sensitive information about a domestic incident in return for a sexual act from one of these women.

He accessed police computer systems to view the log for the incident, which the woman was not involved in, and the jury at Preston Crown Court found there was no policing purpose for him doing so.

After being found guilty earlier this year Turner was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

He resigned as a police officer earlier this week but the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) would have struck him off had he not stood down.

The panel found he breached standards in regards to discreditable conduct, honesty and integrity, confidentiality and instructions.

The IOPC looked at contact with two other women.

In one case he used his personal mobile to provide a crime reference number to a woman who was a victim of crime and signed off messages with an "x" but there was no evidence of sexual or inappropriate language.

In another they investigated messages sent while he was on duty.

They showed plans to meet up but this did not take place.

The messages were not sexual but had no policing purpose and it was considered inappropriate.

A misconduct hearing took place and it was found his behaviour gross misconduct.

IOPC regional director Catherine Bates said: “When police officers or staff abuse their position for a sexual purpose this is serious corruption – and it has absolutely no place in policing.

"Former PCSO Turner’s actions were an appalling breach of the trust placed in him by these women and the wider public.

“While not all of his contact with these women progressed to sexual messages, we found a deeply concerning pattern of behaviour. The contact started out innocent and friendly but where he saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation for his own sexual gain, he took it.

“As a result of our independent investigations, he has now been barred from working in policing in future in addition to his criminal conviction earlier this year.”