Gareth Davies: The Police Persecution of A Journalist And A War On Free Speech | Anorak

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The State V Gareth Davies: The Police Persecution of A Journalist Is Part Of A War Against Free Speech

gareth davies



GARETH Davies is chief reporter of the Croydon Advertiser. Police have served him with an harassment order,  a “Prevention of Harassment Letter”. His offence? He put allegations to a convicted fraudster.

Free speech is under attack.

As Brendan O’Neil writes:

Britain’s leading liberal writers and arts people can, sans shame, put their names to a letter calling for state regulation of the press, the very scourge their cultural forebears risked their heads fighting against.

So. What of Gareth Davies, the latest victim of the war on free speech?

Press Gazette:

It states that fraudster Neelam Desai claims Davies contacted her via Twitter and email on more than two occasions “seeking to interview her for a story for a local newspaper.

“She has stated that she does not wish to be contacted or written about by Mr Davies as she feels harassed by these actions. Mr Davies has failed to accept this, but continued to write and and make unsolicited contacts which result in Ms Desai feeling intimidated and persecuted.”

The letter states in bold type: “HARASSMENT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE.”

It then states that harassment can take many forms, including “abusive communication” or “repeated attempts to talk to or approach a person who is opposed to this”.

Davies has been conducting an in-depth investigation into Desai which has resulted in five page-leads over the last month.

She is alleged to have met men on an Asian marriage website and then tricked them out of large sums of money using fake identities. One alleged victim claims to have been conned out of £35,000.

Desai, 33, of Beulah Grove, Selhurst, has separately pleaded guilty to a string of frauds involving an international travel business she ran under a false name and is set to be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on 25 April.

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Posted: 4th, April 2014 | In: Reviews | Comment