A convicted burglar is to sue Sussex Police after officers sent him a Valentine's Day card.

When Gary Williams received the card from officers in Brighton last year, his girlfriend thought it was from another woman.

In what could prove to be one of the strangest claims this year, Williams is claiming damages from the force, arguing the card was malicious and caused him distress. The 26-year-old is now seeking a judicial review against Sussex Police Chief Constable Ken Jones.

Solicitor Seval Javit, representing Williams at the High Court, said: "We will be arguing it was completely inappropriate of the police to send out these cards. We have not set an amount for compensation."

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "I know it seems like justice gone mad but it's true. We are being sued over this.

"Sussex was merely following a national intelligence model which recommended using publicity and innovative ways of dissuading people from committing crimes. Other forces used Christmas cards so we thought we'd use Valentine's."

A hearing date at the High Court in London has been set for February 13.