Men’s domestic abuse charity criticises ‘double standards’ after female false accuser spared jail

Amanda Aston reported fellow police worker Matthew Taylor for controlling and coercive behaviour after their relationship broke down - Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Amanda Aston reported fellow police worker Matthew Taylor for controlling and coercive behaviour after their relationship broke down – Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A male domestic abuse charity has condemned “double standards” after a female police officer who invented a “web of lies” about her boyfriend was spared jail.

Pc Amanda Aston, 44, reported fellow police worker Matthew Taylor for controlling and coercive behaviour after their eight-month relationship broke down in 2017.

He was later charged with domestic abuse and remanded in custody for two months after Aston lured him into breaking his bail conditions.

But the case against him collapsed and Aston herself was charged with perverting the course of justice after messages between them exposed her lies.

She was found guilty in March and appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, on Monday was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

But Mark Brooks, chair of the ManKind Initiative domestic abuse charity for men, said the sentence sent the wrong message.

He said: “This is as clear a case of the double standards that male victims of these crimes face that you will ever see.

“He ends up in prison and loses his job, but his false accuser avoids jail. How can this be right, fair or equal? If the genders were reversed, I am sure he would be in prison and rightly so.”

A false application

As well as lying about the abuse, Aston, who was herself a domestic violence mentor, made a false application for a £5,000 grant from the Police Welfare Fund by claiming that she was forced to move home because Mr Taylor harassed her after she broke up with him.

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall told the court that Aston told “blatant” lies in a 57-page statement and that she had used her specialist training in domestic abuse to construct the account.

She said that Aston showed “no remorse” for her actions and that she was “motivated by jealousy” about Mr Taylor meeting other women.

Ms Marshall added that Aston’s lies could “prevent” victims of domestic abuse from coming forward through fear that they would not be believed.

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. Her lies led directly to his imprisonment and breach of bail.”

‘Tense and difficult’

Kevin Baumber, defending, said that Aston and Mr Taylor’s relationship had been “tense and difficult”, and that she had been “damaged” by previous experiences that “affected her perceptions”.

He said she had felt “professionally threatened” by Mr Taylor after they broke up and that her behaviour was “consistent with previous emotional abuse”.

Sentencing, Judge John Cavanagh said Aston had constructed an “exaggerated” and “melodramatic” account and that she had given a “false impression” of Mr Taylor’s behaviour.

He said that, while there was a “kernel of truth” about their “volatile” relationship, the “overall impression you gave was demonstrably false”.

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