‘Despicable’ Teen Behind Gay Chat Blackmail Scam Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

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A teenage fraudster who extorted £ 87,700 while running a fake gay sex chat line from his bedroom was locked up yesterday for almost four years.

Kelz Sutherland, 19, blackmailed 10 men by threatening to release tapes of their sordid appeals to their families, employers and the police.

He spoke with one voice as he attempted to trap the victims, then moved on to another and claimed to be the “monitor” or “moderator” of the line.

Sutherland ordered the men to pay thousands of pounds each to have their calls “removed from the system.”

Yesterday Sheriff Deidre MacNeill said his crimes were “despicable” and that he posed a “high risk” to the public.

Ex-transvestite Sutherland – real name William Watson – worked on the sex hotline from a bedroom at his mother Mary’s house in Portobello, Edinburgh.

Often putting on a voice, he would get the caller to talk about child sex, then interrupt in a different voice, posing as a call monitor.

He told callers the topic was illegal and the tapes could be sent to the police – but they could be removed for a fee.

Sutherland extorted a total of £ 87,700 from appellants, including teachers and a business secretary.

One man paid her £ 34,000 in three months and another £ 24,000 in one month.

Sutherland used the money to finance a luxury life, renting chauffeured cars to spend expensive evenings.

Some of the blackmail victims found themselves in serious financial difficulty.

Others said they were stressed when Sutherland repeatedly harassed them.

The scam only came to light when one of the men contacted the police, who set up an injection codenamed Operation Machine.

Upon researching the bank details provided to callers, agents discovered that Sutherland led a lavish lifestyle.

Defending Fiona Cooper said Edinburgh Sutherland Sheriff Court had itself been abused and viewed the men as pedophiles.

And she said the teen should be protected while in detention after other prisoners found out what he had done.

The sheriff caged Sutherland for 45 months, saying, “There are indications that your behavior is compulsive and that you are at high risk to others.”

Chief Detective Inspector Richard Thomas, who led the investigation, later said: “Watson has proven to be a devious and manipulative individual.”


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