In February 2020, 21-year-old Charlie Michael Edward Caire set up a fake Grindr profile in order to lure and torture an elderly man in regional South Australia, reports ABC News. Caire pleaded guilty to a number of offences including false imprisonment, aggravated blackmail and aggravated assault.
On Wednesday, Judge Liesl Chapman sentenced Caire to five years and six months in prison, backdated to his arrest in February 2020, and suspended the rest of his sentence allowing him to rehabilitate in the community with a three year good behaviour bond.
In a “drug induced frenzy,” Caire met with the elderly man who was in his seventies, behind a supermarket and lured him back to his house where he was detained, blindfolded and tortured. Caire carried out this attack believing he was acting as a “vigilante”, after being told the man had sexually assaulted the younger brother of a friend – an allegation not reported to the police.
The elderly man provided a victim impact statement describing the experience as, “the most sustained and intense period of physical pain and fear,” and that he was, “scared he was going to die”.
In her deliberations, Judge Chapman recounted Caire’s life describing a, “childhood which no child should have to endure,” a number of events that led to his “spiral downwards” and an attack that she described as “out of character”.
At the time of the attack, Caire had spent thousands of dollars on methamphetamine to use on a daily basis and “had not slept for about six weeks”.
Judge Chapman said Caire’s lawyers did not ask for the suspended sentence, but she said he would better rehabilitate in the community.