An Edinburgh teenager has been jailed for 45 months after he was found guilty of extorting £87,700 in a sting on men using gay and adult chatlines.

Kelz Sutherland, 19, last month admitted nine charges of extortion between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2009.

Edinburgh sheriff court heard that he had been part of a gang who targeted chatline users, tricking them into talking about underage sex and then threatening to expose them to police, friends and family.

The sting involved talking to men on gay and adult chatlines and steering the conservation to underage sex.

Sutherland would then put on a different voice and pretend to be a chatline monitor, saying that recordings of the conversations would be passed to police.

The men were told that the recordings could be deleted if they paid substantial sums of money.

The scam was discovered after one man went to police after being told to pay £8,000.

When police raided Sutherland’s home in Bath Street, Edinburgh, after a surveillance operation, they found details of the men’s phone numbers, addresses and workplaces on his computer, along with details of a number of bank accounts.

Sutherland was sentenced yesterday and Sheriff Deirdre Macneill QC told him his behaviour had been “despicable”.