A DISGRACED cop who falsely claimed her ex-sergeant lover was a controlling "bully" who tortured her has avoided jail.

Amanda Aston, 43, said the fake abuse she suffered from Matthew Taylor caused her hair to fall out and made her feel like a "lesser" person.

The trained domestic violence mentor said the sergeant would grab her throat during sex and left her "tortured and traumatised" with his gaslighting, abuse and stalking.

Her cruel lies saw Matthew remanded in custody for two months after he was charged with controlling coercive behaviour.

His ordeal, which included losing his job with Surrey Police, only came to an end when his own mum turned detective and proved her son was innocent.

Aston has now avoided jail after being convicted of two counts of perverting the course of justice and one charge of fraud.

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She was instead handed a 21-month sentence suspended for two years.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Cavanagh said her young daughter was the one "exceptional" factor which saved her from going to prison.

He added: "I have come to the view that the adverse effect on your child, and on your relationship with her, of a sentence of immediate custody, would be so damaging that the sentence should be suspended.

"Though childcare responsibilities are not an automatic passport to a non-custodial or suspended sentence, it is only with the greatest reluctance that the court sends to prison the single mother of a young child, and I am satisfied that the interests of justice do not require me to do so in your case."

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Maidstone Crown Court heard the couple first met in October 2016 while they were both part of uniformed response units.

Matthew was married at the time and later left his wife to move in with Aston.

The court was told that while the relationship was "undoubtedly unhealthy and argumentative", Aston's claims consisted of "demonstrable untruths and distortions of the truth".

Following a row at a wedding in 2017, Aston reported Matthew to the police for coercive behaviour.

He was charged and released on bail under the condition he did not contact Aston.

Despite this, she "actively and enthusiastically encouraged" Matthew to do so before reporting him for alleged breaches of his bail terms.

She also gave him tickets to a jazz club for his birthday and told him she "loved him more than anything in the world" – all while compiling a lengthy witness statement aimed at destroying his life and career.

Due to countless bail breaches engineered by Aston, Matthew was arrested again and spent two months in prison, locked in a cell for 23 hours a day.

He was also dismissed from the force following a misconduct hearing.

In letters to his mum from jail, Matthew told how people believed he was a "monster".

He wrote: "I have lived a life of turmoil recently, not knowing what to do….seriously struggling mentally and I have been anxious and terrified."

Once he was aware of the so-called "evidence" against him, he added: "My world ended. I had been breaching court bail at this point…Amanda had complete control over me.

"I was terrified. I couldn't stop seeing her for fear she would report me for the breach so I continued to bury my head in the sand.

"When this happened to me my self-esteem dropped. I couldn't comprehend the position I found myself in."

The sergeant had given all his social media accounts to his mum, whose sleuth work managed to prove Aston's constant contact with Matthew and the case was eventually dropped.

Aston's elaborate web of lies unravelled as a 700-page dossier of texts that "entirely undermined and completely contradicted" the cop emerged.

What she had branded "graphic and depraved" sexual remarks that made her "retch" were found to be just one comment about a custody sergeant wanting to "get in her knickers".

After analysing more than 23,000 social media and phone app messages between her and Matthew, police found she had misled officers and lied about the abuse.

It was also established Aston had made a false application for a £5,000 grant from the Police Welfare Fund.

She claimed she had suffered financial hardship as a result of having to move home several times due to Matthew's alleged behaviour.

Chief Superintendent Tom Budd of Surrey Police said: "The guilty verdict 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.

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"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."

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