Council employee claimed he was a BA pilot on dating app before sexually assaulting woman
Balding Peter Ferguson (pictured) took photos of a stranger on Facebook to create the fake character, then made his way home
A mother has shared how a married council worker impersonated a British Airways pilot and masseuse on the Bumble dating app before sexually assaulting her.
Balding Peter Ferguson, of Great Horkesley, near Colchester, Essex, took photos of a stranger to Facebook to create the fake character, then made his way to his house.
The 43-year-old claimed to be a BA captain called Matt, and after meeting on Bumble they communicated using WhatsApp over a two-week period – but he said he couldn’t meet due to a busy work schedule.
Ferguson then posed as a masseuse sent by the pilot to her house to give her a massage after telling the captain she had muscle pain after a gym session.
He asked the 35-year-old woman to undress at her home in Colchester, and there he sexually assaulted her twice.
Ferguson now faces jail after being convicted by a jury of penetrative sexual assault and sexual assault after a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
As he awaits his conviction in June, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, explained how his crook was “smart and calculated”.
She said, “I want other women to know how dangerous online dating can be.”
She said: “He claimed to fly BA passenger jets all over the world, but in reality he worked for the local council.
Ferguson claimed to be a BA captain called Matt, and after meeting on Bumble they communicated using WhatsApp (left) over a two-week period. Pictured right: Message from Ferguson, claiming to be “Steve”, with the masseuse arranging a visit to her home
“He blamed his flight schedule (for not meeting in person). He told me he was on his way to Heathrow, or on a stopover in Bangladesh.
“He seemed totally genuine and I couldn’t wait to meet him, but he never seemed to have the time.”
The duo were chatting over the phone when the woman told Ferguson – posing as Matt – how a tough workout left her with sore muscles.
She said: “He said he had a friend who was a masseur and offered to pay for him to come to my place as a treat.
“I didn’t mean to sound ungrateful so I agreed, and shortly after I got a text from someone called Steve confirming the reservation.”
WhatsApp conversation continued after the attack (pictured)
‘Steve’ arrived at her house one afternoon while her son was at school.
She said: “He didn’t have a massage table or a lot of equipment – just a few towels and baby oil.
“He said he was using clients’ beds and – since I had never had a massage before – I accepted him.
“I undressed and had a towel covering my lower half. He started massaging my back, but he didn’t seem to really know what he was doing.
“He wasn’t coming through any of the knots in my shoulders, I felt like he was just rubbing baby oil.”
‘Steve’ asked the woman to roll onto her back and massaged her breasts and legs.
He then sexually assaulted her.
She said, “I didn’t feel comfortable with it at all and told her so. But then he did it again. I jumped up, pulled a towel around me and told him to stop.
“The alarm bells were ringing because he had a deep, husky voice, just like Matt, and even used similar phrases.
“He brushed it off saying they must have similar accents.”
Shortly after “Steve” left his home, the woman shared her concerns with “Matt”, who said he had booked her a full body massage.
She confided in friends who told her she had been sexually assaulted.
“I was in shock,” she said.
“But I wentogle the number of Steve’s text and he came up with a result for a Colchester Borough Council web page.
“The number belonged to a team leader called Peter Ferguson, who was responsible for things like fly spills and litter.
“And I recognized the photo of Peter instantly – it was the guy who had come to my house as a masseur Steve.”
The woman contacted police and Ferguson was arrested the same day.
Chelmsford Crown Court learned during his trial that he had secretly joined dating site Fab Swingers after difficulties in his family life.
He had used a photo of himself – but no one was interested.
He made up ‘Matt the pilot’ and took photos of a handsome stranger from Facebook for his fake Bumble profile, then used his work phone to pretend to be Steve.
Colchester Borough Council said in a statement: “Peter Ferguson is no longer employed by us.”