Two British men who used the app Grindr to lure and blackmail gay men will be jailed for four years each.
Nathanael Foster and Adam Webb, both 26 from Gloucester in South West England, were charged with two counts of blackmail.
Gloucester Crown Court heard how the pair trapped two men, with one victim even handing over £15,000 ($25,000, €19,000) to the pair.
The victim had saved the money and drew it out from the bank to give to the men after they stayed all night in his home to ensure he paid up.
But when the other said he had no money, the two men told him he should crash his car into a store to get the cash – the victim was forced to go to the police.
Foster and Webb claimed they were posing as 15-year-olds, a year under the age of consent, and filmed the meetings in order to extort money from the men. They claimed they were being ‘good citizens’.
Defending for Foster, Matthew Harbinson alleged the pair were trying to catch people interested in underage sex, not gay sex. He also said Foster was smoking cannabis at the time.
During court, they admitted two counts of blackmail.
The Gloucester Citizen reported Jamie Tabor, the judge, said ‘Blackmail is always a mean and despicable offence’.
‘The hypocrisy with which you committed these offences is breathtaking.
‘You said you started off as good citizens but when you discovered your second victim had no money you told him to carry out a ram raid to get it.
‘In the other case to all intents and purposes you falsely imprisoned your victim in his own home for ten hours until he could get the money.’