‘Walter Mitty character’ posed as prostitute to dupe unsuspecting men

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A convicted sex offender, described as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ who posed as a prostitute to dupe unsuspecting men to pay him for sex, has been jailed for 18 months.

Antrim Crown Court heard that as well as posing as a prostitute himself, 29-year-old Scott Tootill incited one girl to become a prostitute and facilitated other women who were already escorts by arranging clients and a hotel room in his home town of Limavady.

In total Tootill, from Meadowvale Park, pleaded guilty to three counts of controlling the prostitution of ‘Toni’ and ‘Kelly/Cindi’ for gain and inciting ‘Sarah F’ to become a prostitute.

He also pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation in that he posed as an escort for hire in an effort to dupe unsuspecting men on various dates in February last year and using pseudonyms such as ‘sinner Stephanie’ and ‘Katie and Jess,’ he purported to be an escort “and advertised sexual services with the intention of making a gain for himself or to cause loss to an unidentified male person”.

Tootill also confessed to two charges of breaching a lifelong, court-imposed Sexual Offences Prevention Order by having mobile phones at his home, and five further counts of breaching the requirements of the police sex offenders’ register.

The court heard how police searched Tootill’s house when an off-duty police officer reported he had witnessed Tootill breaching court orders by having a mobile phone.

When the PSNI attended his address, they discovered he had two mobile phones – one he voluntarily handed over but another stashed behind a chest of drawers.

Prosecuting barrister Tessa Kitson told that in addition to evidence gleaned from the phones being examined, Tootill accepted he used the fake names and posed as a prostitute “as a means to financially exploit victims for his own reward”

In 2012 Tootill was given a five-year sentence – two to be spent behind bars with three on licence – after he posed as a woman to set up a fake modelling agency so he could take photographs of young girls.

In court yesterday, defence barrister Mark Barlow described Tootill as “something of a Walter Mitty character” who has never had a normal adult relationship with anyone outside of his family.

Tootill will also spend two years on licence.