Our thanks to JC for this:
A Surrey police officer who lied about being a victim of domestic abuse which led to the imprisonment of another officer has today (23 March), been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Police Constable Amanda Aston, 43, was found guilty of two counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud by false representation following a three-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court. Amanda Aston, is said to have ‘distorted’ difficulties in her relationship with Matthew Taylor knowing he would likely face repercussions.
During the trial, the court heard how Aston, who was based at Guildford police station, had embarked on a relationship with another officer in February 2017.
During their relationship, she reported to colleagues that she had been the victim of domestic abuse, making false allegations of control and abuse about him.
The 43-year-old, who was a trained domestic abuse mentor, made false allegations of ‘control, abuse, harassment, stalking, intimidation and gaslighting’ about Mr Taylor during a 57-page witness statement and a video recorded interview, the court heard.
He was charged with engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour. He was further arrested after breaching his bail conditions not to contact her and served two months in prison as a result.
Mr Taylor was subsequently charged with an offence of engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and appeared in court, where he was remanded in custody, before eventually losing his job with Surrey Police, jurors were told.
He was eventually released from HMP Winchester, where he spent 23 hours of the day locked in a cell while on remand, when detective work by his mother led to the case against him being dropped. Mr Taylor then reported her to police himself.
Evidence later emerged which indicated that Aston had withheld key information and misled the original investigation team by providing false statements which led to him being arrested and charged.
Chief Superintendent Tom Budd said: “Criminal offences committed by our officers and staff simply cannot be condoned. Allegations against any of our officers or staff are always subject to a thorough investigation to ensure that those who do not meet the high standards expected of them to in order to maintain public trust and confidence are dealt with swiftly and robustly.”
Aston will be sentenced on 22 May at Maidstone Crown Court.
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