Belfast Telegraph

Sleazy Omagh student Ryan Eastwood in naked snaps scam

By Patricia Devlin

This is the slimy student who tricked his own friend into sending naked pictures of herself to a fake modelling agency — that HE set up.

Sneaky Ryan Eastwood, 20, from Omagh, posed as a top modelling agent before targeting his friend in the “elaborate” con, he used for his own kicks.

Heartless Eastwood even told the aspiring model that she had clinched a huge contract with top lingerie chain La Senza as he posed via email as a top modelling scout.

But on Wednesday he walked free from Omagh Magistrates’ Court after a judge heard how he was “immature” at the time of the degrading hoax.

A prosecution lawyer told the court how Eastwood had struck up a conversation with the victim, whom he has known for more than 10 years, through social networking site Facebook.

He told the pretty 20-year-old that his uncle was working as an agent with a Belfast-based model agency, and advised her to get in contact with him for work.

Eastwood provided her with an email address, as well as the name and address of the legitimate agency — who knew nothing of the scam.

After exchanging a number of emails with Eastwood’s ‘uncle’ — who claimed to be called John McGillon — the woman sent a number of pretty snaps of herself.

A few days later she was told that top lingerie store chain La Senza, which has now gone bust, wanted her to model its brand.

He then claimed the famous chain — for which TV presenter Tess Daly and WAG Danielle Lineker have modelled in the past — wanted pictures of her posing in lingerie.

She sent more images and was again congratulated by the scout on landing the huge modelling contract.

After exchanging more emails on the lingerie, including claims of a meeting with top store executives to sign the contract, she was asked again to send more pictures of herself.

But this time the modelling scout asked for “full” naked shots of herself, so the lingerie brand could carry out a “body profile” of her.

By this stage the 20-year-old had become suspicious and asked for reassurances from her friend, Ryan Eastwood, that his uncle was trustworthy.

Sleazy Eastwood told her he was, before the woman sent more images on via email.

It wasn’t before long that she received more picture requests, this time to send images of herself with sex toys and wearing “kinky outfits”. She refused before contacting police, who uncovered Eastwood’s pack of lies.

He was arrested in May 2012 and a number of computers were seized from his home.

When questioned by officers he admitted his modelling agent uncle did not exist, and that he had been sending the

young woman the emails. He then claimed that at the time he had been trying to set up his own company, acting as a talent spotter or “middle man” for modelling agencies, where he scouted girls before passing on their details.

However, police could find no evidence to support that claim.

A defence lawyer for the 20-year-old told the court that initially, Eastwood had been acquitted of the charges, which include two counts of causing a person to engage in a sexual act.

But the acquittal was overturned in the Court of Appeal, and Eastwood was brought again before the courts.

His victim was in court to give evidence for a second time but he entered guilty pleas at a late stage.

Eastwood’s barrister added that the Tyrone man, who is now completing a degree at university, committed the offences when he was an 18-year-old schoolboy.

He said he has since had time to “reflect” on the offences and is remorseful.

Describing the Eastwood’s sick con as a “nasty, cruel hoax”, which caused acute embarrassment to his victim, acting District Judge Des Perry said: “Had you been a person of maturity when you committed these offences, the custody threshold would be more than passed.”

However, the judge said he had to take into account Eastwood's age at the time, and the fact that he had a clear record.

He imposed a conditional discharge on each of the two offences, and placed Eastwood on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

He was also ordered to pay £500 to his victim.

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