A 25-year-old man has been jailed for 20 months in Australia for using gay hook-up app Grindr to extort money from an older man.
Jayson Hastie, of Albion Park on the NSW South Coast, created a profile using the name ‘Alex’. He struck up an online exchange with an older guy.
The two men exchanged a string of sexually explicit messages over the course of two weeks. They then arranged to meet at Bass Point, a secluded beach location near Shellharbour.
Impersonating a police officer and demanding cash
However, when the victim turned up, a friend of Hastie’s was there to meet him. A short while later, Hastie himself turned up and got into the backseat of the victim’s car. He told the man that he was a police officer.
‘You have been pinged,’ he told the man.
He went on to claim to have a tracker that would bring other police officers to the location, and, ‘you don’t have to say anything, but whatever you do say can be used as evidence in court.’
Hastie then demanded the man withdraw AUS$2,000 (approx. US$1,440). The ‘terrified’ victim agreed and drove to a cash point to withdraw the money. He also agreed to give Hastie – who he believed to be a cop – a weekly payment to stop him sharing his sexually explicit messages with anyone else.
Before leaving the victim, Hastie and the friend searched his car. Hastie told him: ‘If you ever do this again, I’ll find you and break your legs.’
As he had made his victim drive to a cashpoint, Hastie originally faced charges of kidnapping. However, in a plea deal, this was later dropped when he instead pled guilty to charges of demanding money with menace and impersonating a police officer.
Hastie was sentenced to 20 months in jail with a non-parole time of nine months.
According to the Illawarra Mercury , Hastie has lodged a severity appeal.
H/T: Illawarra Mercury