A decorated police officer has been cleared of shoplifting women's clothes from a supermarket.

Richard Pendlebury, 42, told Preston Crown Court he believed the leopard print skirt, black top and shoes were what his partner Zoe Wilkinson, 30, was returning to Asda, days after she purchased the same outfit.

The custody sergeant said he was unaware the items had been selected by his partner as they shopped at the Pilsworth Road store on September 19 2014.

The Crown alleged that following his arrest he then conspired to provide a false account to police.

Jurors cleared Pendlebury of theft and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. An allegation that he assaulted a security guard outside the store was dropped by the prosecution during the trial.

The couple were also found not guilty of intending to pervert the course of justice by making false allegations that they were the victims of harassment from the same security guard, Naseem Sher.

In 2005, Pendlebury was honoured with the Chief Constable's Commendation for extreme courage and bravery after he was stabbed and sprayed with CS gas as he chased a man. He later helped publicise an initiative to combat pickpockets and shoplifters in Bury town centre.