Team effort to get justice for victims of Paul Gaffney

Cllr. Robert New
Cllr. Robert New

Flurry of suspected fraudsters targeting residents in Gosport

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THE operation to capture Paul Gaffney was a partnership between police and trading standards.

Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett of Portsmouth CID said work by Detective Constables Andy Larder and Sam Hockley, in conjunction with Ed Skinner and Amy Palmer, from Portsmouth City Council Trading Standards, had done an excellent job in gathering an overwhelming amount of evidence against Paul Gaffney.

He added: ‘The nine-year sentence given by the judge demonstrates the seriousness and volume of crime he committed.

‘We are really pleased for the victims that, working with Trading Standards, we have been able to bring him to justice.

‘This was a long and complex investigation which began when the first offence was reported on March 23 last year.’

And Councillor Robert New, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘We are very pleased that the joint operation between the Hampshire police and Portsmouth City Council’s trading standards service into the activities of Paul Gaffney has succeeded in bringing him to justice.

‘His rogue actions as a tradesman defrauded local residents – many of them vulnerable, older residents – out of more than £105,000 and put their safety at risk with shoddy or fraudulent work on their boilers, electrics and roofs.

‘The council’s trading standards service is committed to ensuring the safety of consumers in Portsmouth and will continue to work alone or in partnership with the police to carry out similar investigations where consumer harm or detriment is established’.

Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Constabulary have no cold caller signs available to the public.

If you are concerned about someone who cold calls you always call the police on 999 or your local Trading Standards.

Police will be attempting to claw back the money taken by Gaffney in a Proceeds of Crime Hearing.

It will be held at Portsmouth Crown Court on November 7.

Gaffney has said he will try to pay the cash back.