Mum catfished man on gay dating site, threatened to release sexual images then outed him

Liverpool Crown Court, Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Liverpool, UK.

A mum-of-three who catfished a bisexual man on gay dating site FabGuys, threatened to release sexual images of him and outed him to his mother – causing him to attempt to take his own life – has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Monday (4 March), Lucinda Pollitt, 30, of Senator Road, Thatto Heath, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to two counts of disclosing or threatening to disclose private sexual images and one count of malicious communications. 

Prosecutor Helen Chenery said Pollitt’s acts, which included creating a fake profile on dating website FabGuys, where she catfished the victim, were “intended to cause maximum humiliation and distress”.

She was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation days. A restraining order was also granted to the victim, banning Pollitt from contacting him for 15 years. 

The term ‘catfish’ usually refers to people who use a fake different identity online to trick people in thinking they are someone they’re not.

Pollitt sent photos she’d been sent by man to his mother in May 2022, outing him. She also called him homophobic slurs and threatened to share videos of him in sexual situations, including one in a gay sauna, according to the Liverpool Echo.  

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The victim, who described how the ordeal had left him with depression and anxiety, said: “At the time I was not ready to come out as bisexual as I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. It was a struggle to come to terms with my sexuality.

“Due to what Pollitt has done, I never had the chance to come out in my own time on my own terms, which is something she has taken from me.”

The victim also received a threatening text from Pollitt last March, which read: “You’ll do well to remember what I have on you. I have kept my mouth shut to hide what and who you really are.”

In mitigation, Kate Morley said: “The defendant [has] a hitherto unblemished criminal record. She’s devastated to be appearing in crown court for to first time in her life. She simply wasn’t thinking in her normal, logical and sensible way, and that was exacerbated by having to look after three children.

“Since her arrest there hasn’t been any repeated behaviour, such has been her shame and embarrassment at being arrested, interviewed and put before a court.”

Passing sentence, Judge Katherine Pierpoint said Pollitt’s actions caused the victim to attempt to take his own life, the Echo reported. 

“Police examined your phone and what was seen was a variety of communications between August 2021 and March 2023 which were offensive in nature,” the judge continued. “You used homophobic terms. It was not appropriate… and you did that numerous times over a lengthy period of time.

“The sharing of pictures with his mother was nasty, unnecessary and designed to cause distress and hurt, which you did.

“This wasn’t just a one-off incident. This was behaviour which continued for a significant period. This was an offence motivated by hostility towards sexual orientation. That’s clear due to the language used.”