EXCLUSIVE: Former NCA officer accused of visiting massage parlours while on duty appears in court


A FORMER National Crime Agency (NCA) charged with misconduct in public office amid claims he visited massage parlours while on duty today appeared in court.

Simon Gaffney, 53, a former NCA operational officer based in Warrington, Cheshire, appeared at Warrington Magistrates' Court to face two charges of misconduct in public office.

The court heard that on October 4 2018 and again on October 29 the same year, he is alleged to have held the public office of an NCA officer and wilfully absented himself from work by visiting escorts or a massage parlour.

The court heard on both occasions the activity lasted for several hours.

Gaffney, of Coalport Walk, St Helens, spoke only to confirm his personal details and no pleas were entered.

The case was adjourned for a crown court hearing on a later date.

The prosecution follows an investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

Gaffney resigned from the NCA during the investigation, leaving the Agency in May 2019.

The NCA is the specialist national police unit charged with investigating serious and organised crime and has been compared to the FBI in the US.

An IOPC spokesman said: "Following their own inquiries, the NCA made a referral to us in March 2019.

"Upon completion of our independent investigation in February 2020, we passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service which authorised the charges."

Nikki Holland, NCA Director of Investigations, said: “The alleged misconduct was initially investigated by the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, and then referred to the IOPC."