Woman who served journalist with harrassment order is arrested

Police officer: David Holt

Police officer: David Holt

The woman who accused a local Croydon newspaper journalist of harassment, has been arrested and bailed.

Neelam Desai, who last month served the Croydon Advertiser’s Chief Reporter, Gareth Davies, with a Prevention of Harassment Letter , was charged with fraud.

Desai voluntarily attended a South London police station last week, where after questioning was charged on ten counts of fraud by false representation and then bailed.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police in Croydon on Wednesday, 16 April, arrested a 33-year-old woman on suspicion of 10 counts of fraud by false representation. She has since been bailed to return to a south London police station to a date in mid-August pending further enquiries.”

The charge follows an in-depth investigation conducted by Davies into alleged fraudulent activities by Desai, which produced a number of page leads for the local Croydon paper The Croydon Advertiser.

During this investigation, Desai claimed that Davies had harassed her by continuously trying to contact her online and in person for an interview.

After making an initial complaint to the Press Complaints Committee claiming that the reporter had physically abused her when he doorstepped her home address, Desai contacted the police and on March 31 Davies was handed a Prevention of Harrassment Letter outside the paper’s main office.

The harassment letter reads that Desai: “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.”

Despite Desai being charged with fraud and lawyers challenging the harassment notice served to Davies, so far the Met Police have refused to rescind it.


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