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Sheppey prison officer wrongly arrested after false claims by ex-lover from Minster

An innocent prison officer was arrested three times because of false allegations made by an ex-lover who "craved attention".

Spiteful Emma Weller – described as "demanding, obsessive and manipulative" – set up fake social accounts and made claims she had received rape threats .

Emma Weller, 32, of Nautilus Drive, Minster, admitted perverting the course of justice.
Emma Weller, 32, of Nautilus Drive, Minster, admitted perverting the course of justice.

It resulted in Paul Miller – who worked at prisons on Sheppey – suffering a three-month nightmare in 2020 before finally being told there would be no charges.

Now Weller, 32, of Nautilus Drive, Minster, has been jailed for 32 months after admitting perverting the course of justice.

Mr Miller told Maidstone Crown Court in his victim impact statement: "This was the start of the worst time of my life..and I have been through a horrible divorce. The following months left me paranoid and anxious in ways I've never suffered before.

"I was arrested three times in May 2020. During the arrests, I had lots of my stuff taken away, including phones, computers and clothes.

"I also had to spend about two days in total locked up in three different police stations."

He revealed that following the last arrest he was left fending without a change of clothes.

Paul Miller was arrested three times
Paul Miller was arrested three times

Mr Miller, who attended the hearing, added: "I had nothing; no way of contacting my friends and family until I got myself yet another phone. I had no clothes other than what I was wearing when I left the police station in the middle of the night."

Prosecutor Tanya Robinson told how Weller started dating a police officer after the break-up with the prison officer.

"When each relationship faltered, she would use personal difficulties, whether true or not, to gain sympathy and guilt her partners back into a relationship with her.

"To this end it seems she claimed multiple pregnancies, miscarriages, abortion and even claimed her father was dead, " she added.

Weller also created a fake identity of "Tara" on a dating website making threats to the police officer that Weller would be raped in Mote Park by "someone she did not expect" when she turned up.

Ms Robinson added: "The officer, feared for Weller's safety, and believed the person messaging was Mr Miller, so the prison officer was arrested again.

The case was at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was at Maidstone Crown Court

"The next day, after she was told that Mr Miller had been bailed, she then made a false allegation that she was robbed and sexually assaulted in a dark alleyway on May 28 when she went out for a walk.

"The description she gave of her masked assailant, while not naming Mr Miller, matched his description, including the same aftershave he wore.

"She ran to the police officer's house for help with apparent injuries to her face and body. The Crown say she inflicted these of herself," Ms Robinson said

Police re-arrested the prison officer on suspicion of harassment, malicious communication, robbery and attempted rape.

It was only later that officers tracked the fake accounts to an address in Waterlow Road, Maidstone, where Weller was living at the time.

And it was revealed Mr Miller could not have sent at least one of the messages.

Paul Miller worked at prisons on Sheppey
Paul Miller worked at prisons on Sheppey

Then her lies began falling apart when her claim she was financially supporting Mr Miller turned out that he was supporting her.

"Fake scans and photos about pregnancies to the police officer left him not knowing whether he was coming or going, " Ms Robinson added.

The police officer, in his Victim Impact Statement, said: "It began with excitement from the first meeting with Emma to developing into confusion, doubt, fear and causing me to search deep within myself in order to just continue with my day-to-day life.

"I felt like I was two different people – one wanting to believe everything Emma was telling me as I so desperately wanted to be with Emma and look after and protect her.

"The second part was as a police officer, trying my hardest to sit down and think through using logic and my experiences as an investigator which would see me question what she was telling me because it would not always fit...things just didn't add up."

His worries were echoed by Mr Miller who said he was left worrying his neighbours saw him as "some sort of arch criminal", leaving him fearing every car which stopped outside his house.

Weller has now been jailed
Weller has now been jailed

He said: "I was always thinking it would be the police coming to get me again...even though I knew full well I hadn't done anything wrong. It was a complete nightmare."

Defence barrister Emin Kandola read a letter penned by Weller apologising to her former lover.

It read: "Dear Paul, I understand you don't want to read this apology but I want you to know how sorry I am...but I am not seeking your forgiveness...only to let you know that I deeply regret the harm that I have done. I can't imagine the pain and upset that I have caused you.

"I can't take that back...I just want you to know that you have my heartfelt apology for the suffering I caused you."

The judge, Recorder Mathew McDonagh, said Weller had been "demanding, obsessive and manipulating".

He added: "This is a very serious offence of its kind as it was sophisticated and sustained."

The judge said her motives were unclear but involved an attempt to get back at her ex-lover for the break-up. He told her: “Your actions led to the arrest of an innocent person...you knew this but you did not care."

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