A convicted paedophile who was spared jail struck again – when he asked what he believed was a 13-year-old girl for sex.
Ross Ottaway, 37, was handed a community payback order in 2015 for showing porn to three children he was babysitting. He was left blind in one eye after another man attacked him over the incident.
Now, he’s walked out of court again – and could yet keep his freedom for a second time – after being snared by an online vigilante group set up to catch predators.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Ottaway, formerly of Lochee – but now living on North Grimsby, Arbroath after being forced to move several times in the wake of his latest offence – was already on the sex offenders register because of his previous offence.
He has now admitted that between July 8 and 30 last year, at Kirk Street, he sent sexual messages and written communications to what he believed to be a child over 13 but under 16 years old via social media and attempted to communicate indecently with an older child.
Fiscal depute Syma Rasheed told the court Ottaway was registered disabled and suffered from Prader-Willi syndrome as well as being dyslexic and having type 2 diabetes.
She said a member of the vigilante group Creep Catchers UK set up a Facebook page on July 8 last year.
Almost immediately, the profile received a friend request from Ottaway who later the same day sent a private message wishing the girl a happy birthday and asking what age she was. The decoy replied: “Nearly 13.”
Ottaway asked for naked pictures of her and photos of her wearing school uniform and swimwear, providing his full address for them to be sent to.
He also wanted to “talk dirty” to her and asked her to pose naked in a video call. Their daily conversations became increasingly sexualised until he asked her to have sex with him, the court was told.
On July 29, three members of the group travelled to Scotland to expose Ottaway, filming the conversation and streaming it live on Facebook then informing the police.
Solicitor Anika Jethwa said Ottaway had been forced to move three times after being targeted due to his offending.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael released him on bail and deferred sentence until August 31, asking for an assessment for Ottaway’s suitability to wear an electronic tag as well as background reports.