Blue-on-Blue Toxicity: The Case of Amanda Aston
"Kevin Baumber, defending, said she had felt professionally threatened by Mr Taylor after they broke up and that her behaviour was consistent with previous emotional abuse."
“Fast forward to the moment I ended up in that cell in HMP Winchester, the moment that door locked and the wing closed, the moment I realised the danger I was in. I still have nightmares about it.” - Matt Taylor
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 the conclusion of a three-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court on 23 March.
Aston's ex-lover, Matt Taylor, lost his police job and spent two months in custody over Aston's claims. The couple both worked at Surrey Police; when Aston reported him, Mr Taylor was charged with domestic abuse. Aston, from Seaford, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, encouraged Taylor to reconcile with her but then reported him for breaching bail conditions banning him from contacting her. Mr Taylor was arrested and imprisoned in March 2018.
The former Sergeant detailed how he hit rock bottom in court, when he was sent to prison due to the 'risk' he supposedly posed. He continued:
“Fast forward to the moment I ended up in that cell in HMP Winchester, the moment that door locked and the wing closed, the moment I realised the danger I was in. I still have nightmares about it.”
Matt described how much policing had meant to him, and had done for 12 years up to the point he became a commended Sergeant at the age of 29.
“I was very good at it. I used to be an extremely confident individual,” he said as he outlined aspirations for further promotions. “It all ended so suddenly. My reputation was destroyed overnight.”
Now, he said, the truth has been heard, Matt described feeling great relief and said:
“This deep pit of anxiety I have felt every morning I wake up for the past 5 years has finally relinquished its hold on me.” He added: “I’m still extremely angry about the wrongs that were done, and these need to be put right for me to have closure.”
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 which 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 Aston gave was demonstrably false.
The police appear to be creating new scapegoats for their own policies. While the Criminal Law Reform Now Network (CLRNN) propose 'sex by deception' as a new offence, other areas liable to gross manipulation – once categorised as misadventures and misunderstandings - are being exploited.
As the world watched in the Depp-Heard trial, passionate relationships can turn toxic on the head of a pin; when that is interpreted as abuse by ideological activists in positions of power, the results can be disastrously messy.
Stories of police malpractice from violent rape and murder to coercive control to sharing lewd messages are appearing in the media almost daily, as the pressure the police once applied to the public in pursuit of conviction targets gets turned onto them by new cleaner-uppers in power.
While we must hope Matt Taylor gets the support, care and understanding he deserves, it should also be ensured that those responsible for investigating Aston's false allegations are held to the same level of scrutiny.
By Sean Bw Parker