A former police officer dismissed for gross misconduct after posting intimate images of women online without their consent or knowledge, has been given a Sexual Risk Order by magistrates to prevent him causing any further harm to the public.
David Lovell, aged 46, who was based in Somerset, was dismissed by Chief Constable Sarah Crew following an accelerated misconduct hearing held in May. He was added to a national barred list, preventing him from being employed by another police force or law enforcement agency again.
Avon and Somerset Police applied for a Sexual Risk Order against Mr Lovell, which was granted at a hearing held in North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on Monday 26 June.
The order, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, was applied for to protect the public, including children and vulnerable adults. It will last for seven years.
The order places specified conditions on him, including the following prohibitions:
- No unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 18, except in strict circumstances outlined in the order.
- Not to undertake employment likely to cause him to have unsupervised contact with under 18s.
- Restrictions on his use of computers or devices capable of accessing the internet – including a ban on using any false or proxy name/alias online.
- Not to possess any device capable of storing digital images, except in strict circumstances outlined in the order.
- Not to invite or request others to provide/exchange sexual images of themselves with him, or others.
- Not to share or distribute still or moving images of others in his possession, with a third party or in a public domain, without written consent.
- Not to refuse/fail to remove or delete any still or moving images of a person taken, created, produced or possessed by him and over which he has direct control, upon the request of the person concerned.
Mr Lovell was dismissed without notice following an investigation carried out by our Counter Corruption Unit (CCU), which began in May 2021 when a woman made contact to report that intimate images of her had been posted on a website. She told investigators she’d consensually shared these images with Mr Lovell previously but had never given him consent to post them online.
An investigation was launched, and investigators discovered that intimate images of two other women had also been posted online by him. The women were identified and proactively contacted.
All three women stated they didn’t wish to proceed with a criminal complaint but were willing to support the misconduct process, on the basis they would be given anonymity.
Head of Professional Standards, Supt Mark Edgington, said: “This former officer abused the confidence placed in him by the complainants in the most distressing of ways.
“The misconduct process saw him dismissed from our police service and prevented from holding another role in policing or law enforcement, but due to the nature of the proven allegations it’s vital we protect the public from his sexualised, predatory and exploitative behaviour.
“The Sexual Risk Order will place a series of strict and prohibitive measures on him designed to stop and prevent him from causing any further harm or distress. A breach of the order is a criminal offence for which the maximum penalty on conviction is a five-year prison sentence.
“We take our responsibilities to keep the public safe extremely seriously and taking this action was both necessary and proportionate in this case.”