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PC spared prison after making false DA claims against former Sgt

PC Amanda Aston, convicted in March of two counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud by false representation, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.

A Surrey PC who used her specialist domestic abuse training to tell "blatant" lies about a former sergeant who went on to be imprisoned has been given a suspended sentence.

PC Amanda Aston has been sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, after making false claims against Matthew Taylor with whom she began a relationship in February 2017.

She reported him for controlling and coercive behaviour after that eight-month relationship broke down, with Mr Taylor subsequently charged in relation to those claims.

He was imprisoned for two months in March 2018 after Aston encouraged him to get back with her in breach of his bail conditions, breaches she went on to report.

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall told the court on Monday that Aston used her specialist training to construct an inaccurate account, showing “no remorse” for actions that Ms Marshall said were "motivated by jealousy".

She told the court: “Matthew Taylor spent two months in custody on the basis of false allegations. Her lies and embellishments led to the investigation. Mr Taylor has lost his job as a result."

Mr Taylor, also of Surrey Police, was dismissed following a misconduct hearing the force said took place in response to the breach of bail.

Criminal charges against him were dropped after evidence of Aston's lies came to light.

The allegations, which evidence including the contents of more than 23,000 messages later proved to be false, were made in a 57-page witness statement and a video recorded interview.

Aston also made a false application for a £5,000 grant from the Police Welfare Fund in June 2018, claiming she had suffered financial hardship as a result of having to move home several times due to Mr Taylor’s alleged behaviour.

Kevin Baumber, defending, said that the pair's relationship had been “tense and difficult”, and that Aston felt “professionally threatened” by Mr Taylor after they broke up.

Judge John Cavanagh said Aston had constructed an “exaggerated” and “melodramatic” account of Mr Taylor's behaviour, giving an overall impression which was "demonstrably false”.

He particularly criticised her actions after Mr Taylor was released on bail. “You underplayed the extent to which you were a willing participant in the contact and, at least for much of the period, had encouraged him to meet up and to feel that you were a loving couple.

“You were well aware that these false allegations would make it more likely that Matthew Taylor would have his bail withdrawn.”

Speaking after the trial, Chief Superintendent Tom Budd said the force would be taking disciplinary action against Aston.

Surrey Police has been contacted for an update on those proceedings.

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