Phony firefighter caught again, sent to jail

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Sue Yanagisawa, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

KINGSTON, Ont. -- A man whose obsession with pretending to be a firefighter has landed him into trouble in the past has been sentenced to jail for trying to live the fantasy again.

Scott Whiteland, 42, pleaded guilty to criminally harassing a woman he met on an Internet dating site, where once again he was pretending to be a firefighter, and violating a probation order from February 2012 requiring him to keep the peace.

He was sentenced to 120 days in jail with credit for 14 days of pretrial custody.

Judge Allan Letourneau also placed Whiteland on probation for two years, and ordered that he complete the Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program and counselling as directed by his probation officer, including any recommended for mental health issues.

Crown attorney Doug Brown said Whiteland and the female complainant initially met on the online dating site in April, where he claimed he was planning for his retirement out west.

He also told her he needed a place to stay while in Kingston, according to Brown, and convinced the woman to let him move into her home.

Brown said Whiteland had notebooks and other items with him when he moved in that appeared to support his claim of having had worked for a fire service.

Over time, however, he said the woman learned Whiteland was lying to her about his occupation and other things. She ordered him to move out by Oct. 1, Brown told the judge, and when he didn't comply she locked him out Oct. 3.

Letourneau was told that Whiteland refused to take the hint, however, and between his eviction and arrest on Oct. 24, he sent her approximately 600 unwanted text messages, showed up at her place of work and sent texts to her friends.

Defence lawyer Kevin Dunbar told Letourneau his client had been paying rent "and felt misused by the lady."

He also disclosed that Whiteland has struggled with mental health issues for some time.

When he was younger, Whiteland applied to become a firefighter, but wasn't accepted because of his criminal record.

He also spent some time in jail in 2010 and placed on probation for 18 months with an order prohibiting him from possessing any badges, insignia, regalia or equipment specific to firefighting or police work after he was found in possession of a radio scanner stolen from the Augusta Township Fire Department.

sue.yanagisawa@sunmedia.ca


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