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Offenders who target vulnerable victims in South Ribble brought to justice by Operation Chastity

Posted on - 25th January, 2021 - 1:52pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Leyland, Preston News, South Ribble News
Sean McLaughlin. Pic: Lancashire Constabulary

Operation Chastity is an ongoing campaign which targets offenders who prey on vulnerable people for financial gain.

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The campaign, which has been running for several years, covers the South Ribble and Chorley areas.

It aims to highlight the signs to potential victims in what to look for how to avoid them becoming a target, whilst bringing offenders to justice.

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As part of Op Chastity, 40-year-old Sean McLaughlin of St Anns Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex appeared at Preston Magistrates Court on 23 December 2020.

He pleaded guilty to Harassment Without Violence of a vulnerable victim from the Leyland area.

McLaughlin was sentenced and received a Protection from Harassment Restraining Order.  This order lasts until 22 June 2022.

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In addition, he was also sentenced to 18 months, discharged conditionally for 18 months and ordered to pay compensation of £100.

PC Paul Connell who is part of the Operation Chastity team said: “Offenders ingratiate themselves into an individual’s life convincing them they are their friends and only helping them while all along benefiting from the relationship.

“Criminal offences can be difficult to prove as the victims are convinced the offender is genuinely around to help and appear to willingly hand over money and other goods oblivious to the coercion, they are subject to.

“As the victims do not see the offenders for what they are, this can also prove difficult for investigating officers and can take months of support for the victim to gain their trust and co-operation.”

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