Teen predator blackmailed men on Grindr by threatening to out them as paedophiles

Teenager targeted men on Grindr, threatening to expose them as paedophiles

The teenager used the app Grindr to target men (Stock image)

Friday, May 12, 2017

An Australian teenager has been found guilty of targeting men through the dating app Grindr and threatening to expose them as paedophiles.

The 17-year-old was acting as part of a group which included his older brother. In total police charged four males over the incident, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

When searching the teenager's bedroom, police also found four cannabis plants. He pleaded guilty to two counts of blackmail and growing and possessing cannabis at the ACT Childrens' Court.

In January the teenager and his brother asked a man to meet them, after messaging him on Grindr. They told their victim they would publish messages and photos sent on the app if he didn't give them cash.

However, the man did not agree to their demands. Just days after this incident, the group messaged another man and the teenager prepared a file full of his online messages and photographs, as well as details of alleged child sex offences.

The group then met the man at night and told him they would publish the information unless he gave them money and his phone.

The man was found dead a few hours later in an apparent suicide, which was not treated as suspicious.

Chief magistrate Lorraine Walker said that although there was "a close correlation" between the teenager's acts and the death, his crimes were not a direct cause, so weren't taken into account in sentencing.

He has been given a suspended sentence of 19 months’ detention, dependent upon him entering a 12-month good behaviour order.

Two others in the group have pleaded guilty to charges, however the teenager's brother is to fight the alleged offences in court.