Men in clown masks who terrorised and robbed gay men they met on Grindr jailed

Two men have been jailed for 15-and-a-half years for robbing gay men they arranged to meet on gay dating app Grindr.

On two occasions, Keiran Grant, 20 and Aidon Murthick, 19, from Leeds, used fake Grindr profiles in order to lure gay men and rob them of their possessions, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

In one incident in December 2016, Murthick, using the pseudonym Daryl, contacted a 21-year-old man on Grindr offering to meet for sex.

When the man arrived, Murthick got into his car while Grant, wearing a balaclava, threatened him with a handgun.

“He told (the victim) to get out of the car and lie on the floor. He said this while he was pointing the gun at him and he asked for the keys to the car and for money,” said prosecutor Christine Egerton during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

Aidon Murthick (West Yorkshire Police)

The pair drove away with the stolen car, which was found abandoned the next day.

On another occasion, in January 2017, Murthick used the fake profile to lure a man to a given address in east Leeds.

Egerton said that upon his arrival, the pair ran at his car. Murthick was carrying what looked like a gun wrapped in a white towel. Grant was carrying a shovel. Both were wearing clown masks.

According to Egerton, the pair threatened to shoot the man if he didn’t hand over his car keys.

They were eventually caught during a police chase that same day.

Keiran Grant (West Yorkshire Police)

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the pair, along with another unidentified assailant, randomly attacked a man in his car in December 2016. He suffered several hits to the face and legs. They left empty handed.

During their trial at Leeds Crown Court, the pair admitted to both charges of robbery and attempted robbery. Murthick pled guilty of possessing an offensive weapon.

Grant also admitted to stealing £6,600 worth of goods during a burglary in July 2017.

Grant’s representative, Michael Collins, said: “He is remorseful for his conduct. The role he took was directed by others higher up the chain.”

A representative for Murthick said that his client had been in care since his early teens: “At the time of the offences he wasn’t in work. He was effectively homeless and receiving very little support.”

Murthick will have to spend eight-and-a-half-years in a young offenders institution, and Grant, seven years.