A lying police officer who claimed she had been repeatedly attacked by her fictitious ex-boyfriend has been spared prison.

Nadia Thurley, 29, a probationary officer with Hampshire Police, alleged she had been assaulted 14 times, including being raped, over a seven-month period.

She would arrive at work at Southampton central police station with injuries to her face and tell colleagues she had been attacked by her ex-partner, Dan Jones.

Bristol Crown Court heard on Monday that more than 150 officers investigated Thurley’s allegations and examined more than 800 hours of CCTV footage.

Detectives even installed covert surveillance equipment opposite Thurley’s home in the New Forest in a bid to catch Jones red-handed.

But she was charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice after making two allegations of assault in July 2021, claiming Mr Jones had attacked her in her home, but when detectives examined the camera, there was no evidence of anyone entering or leaving the property.

Thurley, who has complex post-traumatic stress disorder, denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial.

'Escalating campaign'

Kaj Scarsbrook, prosecuting, said: “From December 2020 to July 2021 she began to describe to colleagues an escalating campaign of unwanted contact of stalking and intimidation, and culminating in physical and sexual violence, from an ex-partner.”

The court heard that in October 2020 Thurley attended a call where a colleague was stabbed in the neck.

Thurley was signed off work and only returned two months later, shortly before she started making false allegations.

In March 2021 the defendant was on a Zoom call to colleagues from home when she “abruptly” left. She later claimed Mr Jones had forced entry to her home and raped her.

“She told a colleague that the rape had made her fall pregnant,” Mr Scarsbrook said.

But she provided "a range" of descriptions for him and dates of their relationship, and no contact details or photographs.

Later, Thurley told a colleague she had suffered a miscarriage and again refused to seek medical attention.

'Fortunate' no innocent party 'suffered consequences'

Mr Scarsbrook added: “It is fortunate that due to the invention of Dan Jones, no innocent party suffered consequences.

“But there was a serious and substantial impact upon the police force.”

In a statement to the court, deputy chief constable Sam de Reya said Thurley’s crimes had “inevitably damaged the reputation of Hampshire Police”.

“Investigations into the allegations themselves occupied thousands of hours of police time and police resources were diverted from other victims of crime to respond to her reports,” she said.

“The officers undertook overtime specifically to locate Mr Jones and they themselves feel let down and disappointed. Her actions have been felt across the organisation.”

Since her conviction, Thurley has been sacked from Hampshire Police by a disciplinary panel.

Nicholas Cotter, defending, said: “I understand people are angry, particularly those that work within the police service, and resources could have potentially been diverted elsewhere.

“There is an element of a lack of sophistication, and they are cries for help, in my submission.”

Imposing an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, Judge Moira Macmillan said: “You don’t need me to tell you that I have to pass sentence for some really serious offences, and they are made more serious by the context in which you committed these offences, that you are a serving police officer at the time.

“I am satisfied that your conduct did have a serious impact upon the administration of justice.

“Your behaviour and the number of complaints you made gave rise to 11 investigations, leading to 157 different police officers being tasked with matters connected to those investigations, and many, many hours of police time has been spent reviewing the complaints you made initially, and the surveillance footage from your home.”

Thurley was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity.