A lesbian couple who worked as police officers have been convicted of deception after lying about who was driving in a car crash.

Diane Reeves-Emery, 38, and Charlotte Eccles, 23, were found guilty of obtaining financial advantage by deception at Stafford crown court.

Reeves-Emery had claimed she was at the wheel when Eccles hit a kerb, causing £3,000 of damage. This meant the excess charge of £500 could be halved to £250.

The fraud was revealed during a hearing into alleged harassment by Reeves-Emery. The couple, who both worked for Derbyshire Constabulary, split in 2007.

Eccles told the court she was “petrified” of her former lover, claiming Reeves-Emery had been verbally and physically abusive to her.

Both women pleaded not guilty to the deception charge, with Reeves-Emery saying she had “no reason to lie”. She was also found guilty of another charge of deception for failing to notify her own insurers of the crash when renewing her policy days later.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.