Man who added acid to Sydney gay club lube dispenser avoids jail
The 62-year-old man who was convicted of adding hydrochloric acid to a gay sex club lube dispenser in Sydney has avoided serving any jail time.
Hengky Irawan was instead handed a good behaviour bond after the court ruled that his attempted attack was not a homophobic hate crime.
In August this year Irawan went to the Aarows club in Sydney with a bottle of acid, a funnel and a knife.
He poured the acid into the club’s lube dispenser, but in doing so set off an alarm, notifying security. Thankfully they caught him before anyone could use the acidic lube.
He was charged with multiple offences, including administering poison intended to injure or cause distress or pain, as well as entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence and malicious damage.
Irawan first appeared in court in September, but returned today, when his lawyer applied to have the charges dealt with under the Mental Health Act.
He showed the court a report from a GP and a psychologist stating that Irawan was mentally ill, and that the attack was an “irrational, uncharacteristic episode.”
“[This was] not a hate crime … this can only be explained in reference to his mental health … [he was] in the midst of a major depressive episode,” Irawan’s lawyer said.
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Doctors recommended a treatment plan, including consultations with psychologists and possible treatment.
Police prosecutor Nathan Blatch argued otherwise, calling the attack a “textbook example of motivation for hatred of people.”
“[He] knows it to be a place where sexual intercourse takes place,” he said.
That’s not how Magistrate Beverly Schurr saw it however, agreeing that Irawan was motivated not by homophobia, but by anger at being kicked out of Aarows once himself.
“It was directed towards patrons at the nightclub because he felt aggrieved about being kicked out earlier in the year,” she said.
“[It was] not about their sexual orientation … [He was] angry about being excluded himself.”