Police chief quits after shoplifting probe

A senior police officer has resigned almost a year after being arrested over allegations of shoplifting wine with a colleague, a force said today.

Chief Inspector Sharon Rowe, 44, and Detective Chief Inspector Jim Torbet, 54, were suspended by Sussex Police last September following the alleged incident at a Marks & Spencer store.

Ms Rowe, the district commander of Worthing, and Mr Torbet were freed on bail pending further inquiries, but Mr Torbet was found dead at his three-bedroom house in Peacehaven, near Brighton, East Sussex, on October 30.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "Sussex Police has received and accepted the resignation of Chief Inspector Sharon Rowe.

"With effect from today, she is no longer a serving officer and there will therefore be no further action in relation to any alleged misconduct."

The Crown Prosecution Service previously said Ms Rowe would not face prosecution over the shoplifting allegations, but she had been due to face an internal disciplinary hearing this week.

An inquest into Mr Torbet's death held in March this year recorded a verdict of suicide.

The shoplifting allegations were the second personal torment to face Mr Torbet within a few years.

The inquest heard that he had never got over the death of his 19-year-old daughter, Rae Torbet, who was fatally stabbed by her former boyfriend, truck driver Dellwyn James, at her flat in Bexhill in 2003.