UK Man with Foot Fetish Makes More Than 1,200 Harassment Calls to Health Hotline

  • Some people just can’t keep it in their pants, can they?

Remember that guy who’s calling libraries to masturbate to a readout of an old court case? Apparently, he’s not alone in harassing public phone services for his own pleasure.

Richard Cove, from the town of Worthing on England’s southern coast, has been charged with a peculiar and strangely impressive crime. Over two years, the 45-year-old made more than 1,200 calls to a National Health Service (NHS) hotline.

All to indulge himself in his foot fetish.

Cove apparently really likes to hear women talking about their feet. To get his rocks off, he developed a convoluted method of impersonating an elderly lady to get the phone staff to talk about their own feet.

The cops tried to track Cove down the entire time. However, his use of “false personal details, false telephone numbers, and false ailments” made him difficult to trace, Sussex Police said.

Eventually, though, the long arm of the law reached Cove. At his court appearance on August 10, he plead guilty to one count of making malicious communications.

His final sentencing will take place on September 13. According to UK law, a malicious communications offense could land Cove in jail for up to 12 months.

“We welcome today’s conviction and the work of everyone involved in ensuring Cove is held responsible for his actions,” said David Davis, the head of integrated governance at the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb).

“And what kind of shoes are you wearing right now?”

Becoming an Elderly Lady

According to the police, Cove began making his “nuisance calls” in April 2019. He would always call the NHS 111 phone service.

The NHS 111 is a public telephone and online service for non-urgent medical situations. Essentially, it functions like the U.S. 911 service, just for cases that don’t count as an emergency.

When making his calls, Cove provided a falsified name and used a fake address from a small pool of addresses he had prepared. He also used some kind of a method to change his voice over the telephone.

“The caller has affected his voice to sound like an elderly woman and talking about her own height and feet, then going on to ask the NHS 111 call taker about their feet,” the Sussex Police reported.

The cops became aware of Cove’s antics pretty much as soon as their started. That’s because people still lived at the fake addresses he provided.

“In April 2019, NHS 111 received a complaint from a member of the public who reported that he kept receiving calls from clinicians from NHS 111 despite never having contacted NHS 111,” the police said.

That complaint marked the start of an investigation that would last for two years, until April 2021. Meanwhile, Cove continued making his harassment calls.

A Big Bill to Pay

Cove’s calls didn’t come just at the cost of NHS 111 responders’ discomfort and distress. His weird fetish also racked up quite a bill in cold, hard cash.

“Many of [Cove’s calls] resulted in return calls from clinicians and in some cases ambulances being dispatched,” said the police.

In total, Cove ended up calling NHS 111 1,263 times between April 2019 and April 2021. The responses to his calls cost the NHS a grand total of more than $30,300.

But all throughout his harassment spree, Cove kept making one fatal mistake. He used his own house phone.

“Police enquiries identified the offender’s phone number and arrested Cove at his home from where he had been making the calls on his landline,” said Police Constable David Quayle.

“He admitted making all the calls, and that they were all for his own enjoyment and personal benefit. He said he had a sexual foot fetish which he indulged during most of the calls,” he added.

‘Lives at Risk’

Needless to say, medical professionals aren’t thrilled with Cove’s fetish calls. SECAmb says they couldn’t be happier that he’s finally been caught.

“The impact of this individual’s actions should not be underestimated,” said Davis.

According to him, Cove’s calls understandably caused plenty of “unnecessary distress” among NHS 111 responders.

“Our staff … are working tirelessly get people the help they require,” Davis explained.

“Just one malicious and false call puts lives at risk by diverting our attention and resources away from people in genuine need of our help.”

Luckily, they no longer have to worry about Cove inquiring anyone about their feet. But why he even started is beyond us — there are probably infinite foot pictures on the internet, why harass a health hotline?

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