Three teenagers have been sentenced to jail for 13 years each over a string of robberies and violent homophobic attacks on gay men they met on Grindr.
Mohammed Sohail Khan, Qaasim Ahmad and Muhammad Umar (all aged 18) threatened four men with screwdrivers, urinated on two of them, and forced another to walk through dog excrement. Detective Chief Inspector Ian Ingram said, “Unfortunately we suspect the defendants may have committed other offences before they were arrested, and many victims may not have reported what happened to them to the police.”
Using fake profiles on Grindr, the three teenage boys would lure men to Bordesley Green park, Birmingham, where they would be assaulted in brutal homophobic attacks. The group tied up the victims before submitting them to degrading and humiliating acts.
As reported in LBC News, one man told the Birmingham Crown Court, “Since my attack the impact of what happened has taken many forms, first was the shock of being knocked to the ground, then the terror of being bound and threatened with being stabbed. As the punches hit my head and face I was expecting to be stabbed at any moment, it felt like hours as I was forced to lay face down in the dirt with my hands and legs bound not knowing if I would ever see my family again.”
Birmingham Live reported that the forensic scientists were able to trace Umar after a man told police he had been spat on by one of the assailants. The teen became the lead suspect in the case and was shortly arrested along with two others, who were later released without charges.
Detective Chief Inspector Ingram stated, “I know it took the four victims, in this case, a huge amount of bravery and courage to come forward and support the criminal justice process through to trial – and I commend them for doing so.”
In a victim statement, one of the four men said, “Every time something reminds me of the attack, it takes me to a bad place and it affects my sleep. I have ongoing bad dreams particular about the moment of despair I felt at one point during the attack where I thought I would die in a horrible way.”
The man further stated in court, “It is the memory of the fear of having that screwdriver rammed in my eye, that moment where the young man was threatening to do that. During the past six months, there have been regular moments where I am taken back to that place.”
On December 11th, two of the teenagers were sentenced to 13 years in prison while the third was sentenced to 11 years. Umar and Khan pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to burgle. Detective Chief Inspector Ingram said, “I hope today’s outcome provides reassurance that we take these types of offences extremely seriously, and always do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice. Those found committing offences like this can expect to face a considerable length of time in prison.”
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