A Met Police sergeant sacked for gross misconduct after he kissed and tried to grope a "vulnerable" suspect has lost a High Court bid to clear his name.

Neil Nash, 41, claimed it was not him but another cop who took advantage of the woman, who had been arrested and taken to Plumstead Police Station, where he was a custody officer, in December 2015.

After she was cautioned, Nash obtained her details and visited her home, where he kissed her consensually, before attempting to touch her "intimately".

The woman, in her 50s, refused and complained, and Nash - who had been on the force for over 15 years - was hauled before a disciplinary hearing.

Although he claimed he was not the culprit, he was in June 2018 sacked from the Met after being found guilty of gross misconduct.

He then took his case back to court, but a senior judge has now rejected his attempt to challenge the investigation into the case.

During a three-day misconduct hearing in 2018, an independent disciplinary panel heard that the woman was known to be "vulnerable".

She had been arrested for a domestic incident and taken to the police station, where she was cautioned by Nash.

Following her release, he visited her three times, on one occasion kissing and trying to grope her.

Nash denied that he had visited the woman and claimed that the real culprit was another cop still serving on the Met.

But an allegation of gross misconduct was upheld and he was sacked for breaching standards in relation to authority, respect and courtesy, discreditable conduct and duties and responsibility.

He appealed the decision, but it was turned down.

At the High Court, he claimed that he had been wrongly accused and unfairly sacked over the incident.

He told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies that the victim had given a totally different description of the officer who went to her house.

She said it had been a plain clothes officer who interviewed her, but Nash had been in uniform and did not question her at the station, he claimed.

"There is a police officer still in office that matches the description the victim had given," he said.

"The victim said it was not me. I was presumed guilty from the get-go. It doesn't make any sense.

"If that was a criminal court, it would have been thrown out without a shadow of a doubt."

He asked for a full judicial review into the Independent Office for Police Conduct's decision not to progress his complaints about the way his case was dealt with by an investigating officer in 2016 and 2017.

But rejecting his case, the judge said the officer Nash complained about had long since left the IOPC and that his complaints were too late to now be investigated.

Lawyers for the Met and the IOPC had argued that his complaints about the investigator were effectively an attempt to reverse the result of the misconduct hearing.

And the judge rejected that attempt.

"The correct and only route for such a challenge is an appeal," she said.

"His appeal was dismissed as it was out of time, and his challenge to the outcome of the appeal was refused."

Speaking following the disciplinary hearing in 2018, IOPC director Jonathan Green said: "Instead of providing the service expected of a sergeant, PS Nash abused his position of trust, overstepped clear boundaries, and caused psychological harm to this woman.

"Our investigation concluded that PS Nash had a case to answer for gross misconduct, an opinion which was shared by the Metropolitan Police Service.

"They subsequently arranged for the officer to appear before an independent disciplinary board and I believe the panel were right in their conclusion to strip PS Nash of the privilege of wearing a police uniform."