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03:51 | 24th November 2017

News: UK

Wed 18 Aug, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


Some complainers suffered high degrees of stress as a result of the debt. One said it may have been a factor when he was diagnosed with epilepsy

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A teenager has been arrested following charges of extortion after being caught blackmailing men after setting up a fake gay sex chatline and then threatening to ‘out’ the men to their friends and family if they did not pay him substantial amounts of cash reaching a total of up to £90,000.

Scottish teenager Kelz Sutherland, 19, set up a fake sex line from his bedroom in the house he shared with his parents’ in Edinburgh.

The callous youth would lead the men in to talking about underage gay sex during the erotic phone calls before changing personas into a call monitor mid-way through demanding cash from the customer for silence.

He traded high numbers of cash payouts from the men and ended up making £87,700 from his scheme.

The high rolling teen then spent his dishonest money on chauffer driven cars and nights out at luxurious clubs in the Scottish city.

Many of his victims were forced to thrown themselves and their family into financial difficulty in fear of the emotional damage that could be cause had it been revealed.
Sutherland attended Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday, where he pled guilty to nine charges of extortion dating from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2009.

The men involved in the case where believed to have been aged between 32 and 65 and had given over £87,700 between them to the scheming teen, who also admitted attempting to extort a further £28,000 from two other men.

The situation came to the attention of the police after a man who was threatened to pay £8000 for silence refused to and reported the situation.

A surveillance operation was then mounted the police began to monitor Sutherlands phone which led them to his parents’ home in Bath Street, Edinburgh. Once locating the address officers found a number of personal details about the men which included telephone numbers, home addresses, work addresses and bank details all on the teens laptop.

Speaking in Court he admitted to the charges but failed to accept the claim that he led them on to talk, screaming from the dock: "They are the paedophiles. These men say they are victims, why did they give me the money in the first place? Why is it me that's sitting here and not them?"

According to The Sun prosecutor Graeme Jessop told the court: "Some complainers suffered high degrees of stress as a result of the debt. One said it may have been a factor when he was diagnosed with epilepsy."

The defence, Fiona Cooper, insisted that the men contacted the line themselves therefore were to blame and he did not direct the way of the conversation to underage sex by any means, adding: "It is a matter of a great deal of stress for him. He feels he is being targeted as a paedophile himself. He sees himself as taking action to stop people who are paedophiles. He does not see how these people have done nothing wrong".
Sentence was deferred until later this month for reports.

It was also reported that Sutherland's mum Mary said after the hearing: "It was a complete shock everything that was said in court."

 

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