A POLICE officer who harassed a former lover using a series of aliases to tell him she had committed suicide has escaped going to jail.

Witness liaison officer Julie Tulloch, aged 50, of Denton Road, Welling, who deals with rape cases, was yesterday given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for one year at Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard Tulloch used five pseudonyms including colleague Detective Sergeant Warren Arter and her son to launch a “barrage” of harassment after the man she had an affair with broke off their relationship.

Using five separate mobile phones, with one for each alias, Tulloch sent 450 text messages to John Smith and his family over a six-week period in June and July last year.

On one day she sent a total of 95 texts.

Tulloch met Mr Smith, who lives in Bromley, through both their sons' football team.

One of the mobiles she used, with which she pretended to be Detective Sergeant Arter, was a work phone to be used strictly for contacting victims of serious sexual crimes.

The court heard Tulloch used her colleague’s name to inform the Smith family that she had attempted suicide and sent another message to say she was dead.

However the Smiths then received another message under the guise of her colleague to say Tulloch was still alive and that the people who said she was dead had been lying.

The Smiths were instead told that Tulloch was on remand in prison for assaulting the people who said she had died.

Mr Smith then arranged to go to prison to meet Tulloch, who he found sitting outside with a bag as she told him she had been released.

The court heard other texts about her dying were sent under other aliases and included funeral details with the intention of apportioning blame to Mr Smith.

Tulloch also sent picture messages of a coffin and funeral flowers with the caption ‘Happy now?’

Tulloch, who is based at the Sapphire Unit at Sidcup police station, pleaded guilty to one charge of harassment.

As well as the suspended sentence, Tulloch was given a three month curfew to run from 11pm to 6am and a restraining order not to contact the Smith family.

Katrina Orme, mitigating, said her client "will inevitably lose her job" when she faces a conduct committee hearing.

Miss Orme said: "It's a job she loved and strove to attain and she will lose it."