Portsmouth police officer sacked after being convicted of sexual assault by 'climbing onto victim'
A POLICE officer convicted of a sex offence has been sacked by Hampshire police.
PC Andrew Sollars ‘climbed onto the victim’ trying to kiss her and saying he wanted to have sex.
The 39-year-old 999 response and patrol officer was handed a three-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months.
He must sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years following his conviction for sexual assault.
Sollars, of Rowlands Castle, first appeared in court for the July 2018 offence in February last year.
Sollars denied the charge but was convicted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court in December.
He was sentenced on February 4 and ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and 30 days’ rehabilitation activities.
Following his conviction Sollars, an officer with 13 years’ experience, was sacked without notice for gross misconduct.
The force ruled his actions amounted to ‘discreditable conduct’. The sexual touching offence was committed while off-duty, Hampshire police said.
A spokeswoman said: ‘The incident took place in the (wider) Portsmouth area on July 2, 2018 whilst off-duty.’
Sollars has lodged an appeal against his conviction, the Court of Appeal confirmed.
No hearing date has been set.
Sollars insisted to The News he maintains his innocence and is awaiting the appeal.
A Crown Prosecution Service Wessex spokeswoman said: ‘Andrew Sollars was convicted after trial in December 2020 and sentenced on February 4 for sexually assaulting a female contrary to s3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
‘In July 2018 Sollars sexually assaulted a (woman).
‘After trial the jury found Mr Sollars had climbed onto the victim, attempted to kiss her and told her he wanted to have sex with her.
‘He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months.’
Sollars had been based at Fratton police station in 2009 but more recently covered the force’s eastern area, including Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant and Fareham among other districts, as part of the response and patrol team.
:: Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (Parcs) provides information and emotional support for anyone aged 18 or over.
The women’s helpline is (023) 9266 9511 and the men’s helpline is (023) 9266 9516. Lines are open Monday 1pm until 3pm, Wednesday and Friday 7pm until 10pm. There is an answer machine outside these hours.