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Jilted Medway police officer jailed for faking attacks on himself and blaming ex

A jilted Medway special constable faked attacks on himself and then blamed his ex-lover and family for carrying out a vendetta.

Tristian Smith, 26, daubed his home with the word 'die' in a botched attempt to get revenge on his girlfriend, Charlotte Clark-Hughes.

Tristian Smith from Rochester Picture: Jim Bennett
Tristian Smith from Rochester Picture: Jim Bennett

The campaign started after she refused to get back together with him in September 2017.

The following month he claimed Miss Clark-Hughes step-father John Bradshaw had sent him abusive messages prompting officers to arrest him and her mother Jane.

They were released after proving they could not have sent the messages as one of their phones had been lost on a trip to Spain and the other was broken.

The former University of Kent graduate - who was training to be a paramedic - claimed he had been stalked and attacked by armed masked men near his home in St Williams Way, Rochester.

Smith's allegations led to a panic alarm being fitted in his home.

Miss Clark-Hughes was arrested after Smith reported a friend of his had received abusive messages.

Smith was eventually arrested after his stories became more and more elaborate.

Detectives established he was an intelligent individual having graduated university with a master’s degree in IT Consultancy. As their inquiries continued they discovered his extensive knowledge of technology allowed him to manipulate phone and email messages to make them appear as if they had been sent from others.

He also accessed Miss Clark-Hughes’ social media account to send threatening messages to his friend in order to legitimise his claims.

Now Judge Martin Huseyin has given Smith a lifetime ban from contacting the family.

He told Smith a lot of police time had been wasted investigating the false allegations.

"This case is about the sad toxic fall-out during the breakdown of a relationship and the lengths this defendant went to to cause difficulties for his ex-girlfriend..." — Paul Valder, prosecuting

The judge added: "Your made up allegations would have been terrifying for your own parents who would have believed their home was under siege."

He said a number of people were "deeply affected" by the actions of a "controlling and manipulative" man.

Defence counsel Lisa Wilson said after his arrest and remand he was put in a cell with someone he had previously arrested and has been attacked in prison and had liquid thrown in his face.

She said he was then moved to a wing with other vulnerable inmates.

But Prosecutor Paul Valder told Maidstone Crown Court rather than being the victim of a vendetta, the former special PC had fabricated the vandalism in revenge.

Tristian Smith said he went in to the police force to tackle corruption
Tristian Smith said he went in to the police force to tackle corruption

He said: "This case is about the sad toxic fall-out during the breakdown of a relationship and the lengths, prosecution say, this defendant went to to cause difficulties for his ex-girlfriend after their love turned sour and then, on his part, turned into an almost obsessive hatred."

By October 2017, Smith accepted the relationship was over in texts sent to his brother.

"He said how angry he was and how he wanted to tear her family apart and get revenge," said Mr Valder.

A jury rejected Smith's claims and convicted him on eight of 10 charges, including perverting the course of justice, unauthorised use of a computer, planting fake texts and Facebook messages, making silent calls to his own home and assaulting his ex-girlfriend by biting her during a violent row.

Smith had previously said: "I joined the police force because I wanted to make a difference... to change the negative attitudes some have of the police. I really loved the job.

"But I came across some corrupt officers which I didn't approve of."

He was jailed for four years and nine months.

DC Simon Powell said: "Smith’s calculated vendetta led to three innocent people being arrested. Their lives were put in turmoil as a result of his lies.

"In addition to the distress he has caused to his ex-partner and her family he has wasted hundreds of hours of police time. This is time that should have been used helping genuine victims of crime.

"Smith was in a position where he could have used his skills to benefit his community, instead he used his extensive technical knowledge in an attempt to ruin the lives of individuals that he felt had wronged him.

"I hope that the conclusion of this case will offer closure to those he has caused distress to and allow them to move forward."

Smith resigned from the Special Constabulary after his arrest, and his conviction will prevent him working within the police again following his release.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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