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Hat-trick of wins for reporter threatened with harassment order

Gareth DaviesA reporter who received an anti-harassment warning from the Metropolitan Police after approaching a convicted fraudster for a comment has been honoured for the third year in a row at the Regional Press Awards.

Gareth Davies of the Croydon Advertiser was awarded the Weekly News Reporter of the Year prize he has also won for the past two years.

His entries included the Advertiser’s front page story headlined ‘Shameless’ exposing the activities of serial conwoman Neelam Desai.

Desai complained to the Met after Gareth attempted to secure a comment from her and the police then served him with a prevention of harassment notice.

Gareth later complained to the Metropolitian Police about his treatment, but the complaint was dismissed.  He has since appealed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The judges said had displayed “admirable fortitude” in standing up to the harrassment allegations and linked his treatment to the post-Leveson “chill” affecting the industry.

“Gareth produced a stunning set of investigations and stories which could grace the pages of any national newspaper,” they said.

“Gareth leaves no stone unturned to deliver his work and showed admirable fortitude in standing up to accusations of harassment from the police. In a post-Leveson world it is only right that it received national attention.”



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  • May 15, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    This young man is the best of the best and the Croydon Advertiser is lucky to have him. How much longer he decides to remain at local level is a matter for him but there are stories of wider import, and with far larger audiences, to which he could apply his remarkably forensic abilities. Well deserved!

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  • May 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    The previous post says it all. The authorities only make themselves look foolish in their ‘in denial’ response to this sort of reporting.
    That type of journalism is sadly lacking today and all the more reason to appreciate this reporter’s achievements.
    The establishment have it too easy, with newspaper cutbacks….

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  • May 18, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Well done Gareth.
    Sometimes a really good con person can run rings around their prey, the authorities, planners, tribunals and even the police, to perversely become ‘the victim’ of the piece and make even the most experienced reporter begin to question their own motives in following an investigation
    Gareth showed real determination in this case and good luck to him in the future. I hope there is a place for him in the local and regional newsrooms of the future.

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  • May 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    It’s great to find that true journalists still exist.
    Gareth evidently has the talent and resilience required to tackle stories of this kind and bring them to fruition in the face of official resistance.
    His award is well-deserved.
    Management suits take note: this is what good newspapers are all about.

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