Man jailed for using fake Grindr accounts to target, prey on, and rob LGBTQ+ victims

A fifth man has been jailed for his part in preying on LGBTQ+ men through fake Grindr accounts and using WhatsApp to plan robberies.

Appearing at Huntingdon Law Courts last week, Harrison Carter, 27, of Chesterton Road, Cambridge, was jailed for three years for his part in using Grindr and WhatsApp to plan to a spree of robberies between 27 May and 16 June 2022. He admitted a charge of conspiring to commit robbery, at an earlier hearing.

The group used Grindr to arrange to meet queer men when it was dark. Brandishing knives and dressed in dark-coloured clothes with their faces covered, they would then demand cash and the victims’ mobile phones. 

The Hunts Post reported that the first robbery was of a deaf man in his thirties. The victim had arranged to meet someone he thought was called Toby at about 2am on 27 May at the playing fields in Chequers Lane, Papworth Everard, in Cambridgeshire. 

The convicts brandished knifes before robbing their victims

The victim, who was asked to share his live location upon arrival, was confronted by two knife-wielding men in dark clothing. They demanded his mobile phone and wallet before running off. 

The next incident occurred on 29 May at the Bourn Jubilee playing field at around 6am. A man in his fifties was robbed, while a third victim, a man in his forties, suffered the same fate when he met a man known to him as Charlie on 12 June.

The mobile number used to contact the victim was linked to another of the convicted men, Eden White, 22, and led to Jack Walker, also 22, and 19-year-olds Mackenzie Wales and James Doel. 

‘They intentionally preyed on members of the LGBT community’

Detective inspector Juliet Heald said: “Carter and the other men used WhatsApp to plan every detail of these robberies and joked about them afterwards.

“They intentionally preyed on members of the LGBT community, targeting victims through Grindr knowing that they would meet up, alone, in times and locations where no one else was present and believing they would be less likely to report the incidents to police.

“The courage of the victims coming forward has prevented others being subjected to harm and although the groups actions will always remain with them, I do hope that this final sentence can bring them a sense of closure.”

Last year, White, of Quidditch Lane, Lower Cambourne, was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to commit robbery, being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

Wales, of Anson Road, Upper Cambourne, was sentenced to 20 months, suspended for 18 months, for conspiring to commit robbery. Walker, of Cromwell Crescent, Papworth Everard, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison on the same charge.

In April of last year, Doel, of St Neots Road, Knapwell, was given a 12-month youth referral order for conspiring to commit robbery and possession with intent to supply class B drugs. 

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