Teen deliberately targeted gay man on Grindr for knife-point robbery thinking he would be ‘easy meat’
A teenager in Wales “deliberately targeted” a gay man on Grindr for a knife-point robbery, thinking that he would be an easy target.
According to WalesOnline, Abdul Battar, who was 17 at the time, responded on 30 April this year to the Grindr post of a man who was looking to buy a second-hand iPad, Swansea Crown Court heard.
Claiming to be in his 20s, Battar said he had an iPad to sell and they arranged to meet. He also claimed to be a male escort and sent naked pictures to the victim, but he insisted that he was simply looking for an iPad.
When the victim drove to the meeting point in Sketty, Swansea, the teenager pulled open his car door and told him: “Give me the money.”
Tom Scapens, prosecuting, said Battar then pulled out a kitchen knife and pointed it at the victim’s face, threatening to “kill” him.
The man told him that he had not brought money with him, so the 17-year-old began rummaging through his glove compartment. When his search proved fruitless, Battar slashed the car’s passenger seat, spat into the back of vehicle and called the driver a “dirty gay rat”.
The teen ran off, and the victim called the police. While on the phone, he began receiving messages from a Grindr account, now known to have belonged to his attacker, which read “I am following you” and “you better have my money. I’m going to kill you”.
The victim described Barrat to authorities, and the teenager was eventually chased down by police.
Now aged 18, Battar pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.
The victim said in an impact statement that the attack had dramatically affected his life, and that he was so shaken he had been forced to move away from Swansea to feel safe again.
While Battar’s defence argued that “to avoid future criminality”, Battar should not be immediately taken into custody because of personal issues he needed help form, judge Mark Powell QC disagreed.
He said: “You were motivated by your belief that, perhaps because of his sexual orientation, that he would be easy meat. It turned out he was not – he showed considerable fortitude.
“In my view you deliberately targeted him because of his sexual orientation.”
Powell said that while the sentence for an adult would have been around three years, because of Barrat’s age and guilty pleas he would be sentenced to 14 months in a young offenders institution.
He will serve up to half the time in custody, before serving the rest in the community.