Serving Surrey Police officer Amanda Aston (pictured at court), 43, from Seaford, East Sussex, was on trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent. She was convict her of all charges on Thursday
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A female prison officer faces being sent to jail and her career being ended after lying that her former lover – who was a sergeant in the same force as her – gaslight her into a ‘controlling, coercive’ relationship.

Amanda Aston’s, 43, claims saw Matthew Taylor, 35, locked up for two years.

A constable based at a Guildford police station in Surrey and a trained domestic violence mentor, Aston was found guilty by a jury of two offences of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent.

The female police officer was said to have ’embellished and exaggerated’ difficulties in her relationship with Mr Taylor – knowing the serious repercussions for him ‘better than anyone else’, the court heard.

And not only was he arrested and charged with controlling coercive behaviour as a result of this, but he was also later remanded in jail for two months.

This eventually lead to him losing his job with Surrey Police.

But it was only through the detective work of his mother – who trawled through social media accounts and previous text messages – that lead to his release from Winchester Prison.

Serving Surrey Police officer Amanda Aston (pictured at court), 43, from Seaford, East Sussex, was on trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent. She was convict her of all charges on Thursday

Serving Surrey Police officer Amanda Aston (pictured at court), 43, from Seaford, East Sussex, was on trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent. She was convict her of all charges on Thursday

Serving Surrey Police officer Amanda Aston (pictured at court), 43, from Seaford, East Sussex, was on trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent. She was convict her of all charges on Thursday

Former Surrey Police sergeant Matthew Taylor outside Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, where he has given evidence against his ex-lover Amanda Aston

Former Surrey Police sergeant Matthew Taylor outside Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, where he has given evidence against his ex-lover Amanda Aston

Former Surrey Police sergeant Matthew Taylor outside Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, where he has given evidence against his ex-lover Amanda Aston

There, he had spent 23 hours a day locked in the cell, but the Crown Prosecution Service ended up dropping the case against him following his mother’s discoveries.

At the start of Aston’s trial, the jury heard that she made false allegations of his ‘control, abuse, harassment, stalking, intimidation and gaslighting’ in a witness statement.

As part of the criminal investigation into Mr Taylor, she also gave a video recorded interview and completed what is known as a Domestic Abuse Stalking and Harassment (DASH) questionnaire.

This is designed to ascertain what level of risk Aston was in.

Her claims included that the sergeant, also based in Guildford at the time, would grab her around the throat during sex, and had left her ‘tortured and traumatised’ with his remarks about what another officer would do to her sexually.

Aston also accused him of ‘relentless bullying’ and undermining her work, with his behaviour on one occasion reaching ‘a scary level’.

She also claimed that she stopped eating, began losing hair and frequently cried herself to sleep as Mr Taylor made her feel ‘a lesser person’. 

In giving evidence – where she was seen clutching a baby’s dummy in her hand – Aston denied a suggestion she was ‘a conniving puppet-master who liked being the centre of attention’.

However, Mr Taylor told the court that although he could be ‘obnoxious and patronising’, he had been ‘the victim of a monumental miscarriage of justice’.

Aston, said to be still a serving officer with Surrey Police, had denied perverting the course of justice between September 3, 2017 and March 22, 2018.

She was also accused of defrauding the Surrey Police Welfare Fund of £5,000 in June 2018 by claiming she suffered financial hardship as a result of having to move home several times due to Mr Taylor’s alleged behaviour and her need to feel ‘safer’.

The female police officer was said to have 'embellished and exaggerated' difficulties in her relationship with Mr Taylor - knowing the serious repercussions for him 'better than anyone else', the court heard

The female police officer was said to have 'embellished and exaggerated' difficulties in her relationship with Mr Taylor - knowing the serious repercussions for him 'better than anyone else', the court heard

The female police officer was said to have ’embellished and exaggerated’ difficulties in her relationship with Mr Taylor – knowing the serious repercussions for him ‘better than anyone else’, the court heard

What Aston had said were 'graphic and depraved' sexual remarks by Mr Taylor that made her 'retch' were in fact shown to be limited to just one comment by him

What Aston had said were 'graphic and depraved' sexual remarks by Mr Taylor that made her 'retch' were in fact shown to be limited to just one comment by him

What Aston had said were ‘graphic and depraved’ sexual remarks by Mr Taylor that made her ‘retch’ were in fact shown to be limited to just one comment by him

The jury took just over nine hours to convict her of all charges on Thursday.

In adjourning sentencing until May 22, Mr Justice Cavanagh warned Aston that she faces a jail term, saying: ‘I have to say to you that these are serious matters and a custodial sentence is a real likelihood.

‘But I am going to order a report so I know as much as I can about you before sentencing.’

Aston, from Seaford, East Sussex, was released on bail.

Mr Taylor, who was subsequently dismissed from Surrey Police for misconduct in respect of his bail breaches, was not at court for the verdicts.

Aston herself had referred to him in her complaint as ‘the star of the force’ and said he had been marked as ‘the future of Surrey Police’.

At the start of the three-week trial, prosecutor Eloise Marshall KC said although Aston and Mr Taylor’s relationship was ‘undoubtedly unhealthy and argumentative’, her claims against him consisted of ‘demonstrable untruths and distortions of the truth’.

Ms Marshall told the court: ‘She knew, as a domestic abuse mentor, what those lies would lead to and what it would mean for Mr Taylor.

‘In her role as a police officer and in her role as a domestic abuse mentor, you can see why her comments are all the more damaging.

‘She knew they would lead to the arrest of Mr Taylor and eventually the CPS recommending he be charged with a criminal offence.

‘Exaggerations and distortions they may be but in that context they had very real implications for Mr Taylor and repurcussions that she understood.’

She added that any suggestion Aston was a genuine victim was ‘entirely undermined and completely contradicted’ by text messages running to more than 700 pages with her lover, who was eight years her junior and recently married when they started dating in November 2016.

What Aston had said were ‘graphic and depraved’ sexual remarks by Mr Taylor that made her ‘retch’ were in fact shown to be limited to just one comment by him about a custody sergeant wanting to ‘get in her knickers’, Ms Marshall told the jury.

The two officers were part of uniformed response units when they first met in October 2016, as the court heard she was a divorcee with a sports chiropractor background and had joined the police as a ‘late entrant’ in July 2015

The prosecutor added this was ‘a classic example’ of the lies the constable told, not realising their messages would be looked at.

Furthermore, the court heard that allegations her ex-lover called her ‘horrific’ names in hundreds of texts was limited to one or two using words such as ‘disgusting’ and ‘pathetic’.

Ms Marshall told the jury: ‘This case isn’t about their relationship. It’s about the lies Amanda Aston chose to tell police about Matthew Taylor’s behaviour towards her and the effect of those lies.

‘You will probably conclude that neither Amanda Aston nor Matthew Taylor were what you call a dream date.

‘She clearly relished being the centre of attention while Mr Taylor was obviously annoying, always had to be right and always had to have the last word in their arguments. It was an unhappy, co-dependent relationship.

‘But Amanda Aston chose to make complaints to police in which she exaggerated and told lies about their relationship.

‘That resulted in Mr Taylor’s arrest for controlling, coercive behaviour against her. He was later charged with that offence and placed on police bail.’

A condition of that bail was not to contact Aston.

However, she ‘actively and enthusiastically encouraged and controlled’ him to do so, only to then report him for repeated breaches, claiming he ‘would not leave her alone’, added the prosecutor.

The court also heard that just five days after completing her lengthy witness statement, she gave him tickets to Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London as a surprise 30th birthday present.

She also told him she ‘loved him more than anything in the world’.

Pictured: Maidstone Crown Court. The jury took just over nine hours to convict Aston of all charges on Thursday

Pictured: Maidstone Crown Court. The jury took just over nine hours to convict Aston of all charges on Thursday

Pictured: Maidstone Crown Court. The jury took just over nine hours to convict Aston of all charges on Thursday

The prosecutor told the jury: ‘Amanda Aston was saying one thing to Mr Taylor and another to police. She told him she didn’t want this prosecution, it was out of her hands, she loved him and couldn’t live without him.

‘Meanwhile, she was telling police he had contacted her and turned up at various locations unwanted.

‘Sadly, the truth was she was encouraging him to meet her, arranging the dates with him, and giving him the addresses of her new homes.

‘Those lies may have had less importance but for the fact Mr Taylor was arrested again as a result and spent two months in prison, locked in a cell for 23 hours a day.’

At this point Mr Taylor gave all his social media account passwords to his mother, Elizabeth Bond. 

Hundreds of messages with Aston were found – many of which she had deleted from her accounts – and this revealed evidence of their almost constant contact and led to his release and the CPS decision to drop the case.

The two officers were part of uniformed response units when they first met in October 2016, as the court heard she was a divorcee with a sports chiropractor background and had joined the police as a ‘late entrant’ in July 2015.

The then Sergeant Taylor had only been married a few months when he became involved with Aston, leaving his wife three days after Christmas Day 2016.

And by March had moved in with Aston.

But the jury heard that it was following a row at a wedding in London in September 2017 that the 43-year-old reported him.

Then in March 2018 – four days after Aston had told him she did not want a relationship – she reported him for breaching his bail and he was re-arrested and remanded in jail.

The court heard that the day after his release, the sergeant was immediately dismissed from the force for misconduct in respect of the bail breaches.

In a statement given after the conviction, Chief Superintendent Tom Budd of Surrey Police said: ‘The guilty verdict today follows a challenging and complex investigation against one of our serving officers which uncovered the web of lies Aston had constructed purely because she knew the impact it would have on Mr Taylor. As well as having to serve time in prison, Mr Taylor also lost his job as a police officer and his reputation was left in tatters as a result of her lies.

‘The messages between them showed that she was telling him one thing – that she didn’t want to support a prosecution and that she loved him and couldn’t live without him – while she was telling police something completely different by saying he had contacted her and turned up at various locations unwanted, including one of the addresses she said she had to move to in order to get away from him.

‘Allegations of domestic abuse against any of our officers or staff are always fully investigated and we would always support any officer or member of staff who is a genuine victim. Sadly, on this occasion, this was not the case.’

Chief Superintendent Budd continued: ‘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 by our Professional Standards Department 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.

‘Now that the court case has concluded, we will be taking disciplinary action against Aston which will determine whether she has breached the policing standards of professional behaviour.’

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