Convicted drug lord jailed after beating ‘petrified’ Grindr date and threatening to set him on fire

James Inglesby mugshot / iPhone screen on the Grindr download page

A convicted drug dealer who beat and threatened to kill a man he met on Grindr has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

James Inglesby, 33, was jailed after punching Paul Weaver, threatening to shoot him in the head and to set him on fire.

The two men met on Grindr on October 19, 2019 and chatted for a few hours before Weaver invited Inglesby to his home in Kirkby, Liverpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Inglesby arrived at around 8pm. The two initially shared a “quite relaxed” evening, watching television together as Inglesby drank cans of lager he had brought with him.

By about 10.30pm Inglesby became “erratic”. Nick Cockrell, prosecuting, said Weaver was worried about the “aggressive” statements he was making and asked him to leave. He refused, shoved him, and punched him in the face.

CCTV caught Inglesby — who was given a 40 month sentence in 2017 for his part in a heroin and cocaine operation and was on licence at the time of the attack — threatening to kill Weaver.

“I will shoot you square in the head,” he said, according to the Liverpool Echo. “I’ll happily take a bullet straight away no problem.”

While stood over his victim, he continued: “I’ll do you a f**king favour right, please sit back. Let me speak, look at me.

“I swear I will batter you. … Look shake on it please and I’m sorry if I hit you.”

Grindr attacker threatens to set man on fire.

After taking Weaver’s hand and pulling him to his feet, Inglesby made a series of garbled comments.

“You’ve got 30 seconds for me to come in to sit down yeah I’m not going to stop you. No cut, punch, bite and kill any male and female you want…” he said.

After further conversation, he punched the victim in the jaw before warning him: “Don’t even cry… I will set you on fire and I will watch you burn.”

He went on to demand “money now”. Weaver told him he had none, to which he replied: “Money now or I’ll burn you.”

The victim managed to escape running upstairs where he triggered an alarm. Wearing just his underwear, he managed to flee the house and sought refuge with a neighbour until police arrived.

After his arrest, Inglesby gave a “changing and inconsistent account” of the evening’s events. He admitted assault by beating, but initially denied making threats to kill. He went on to plead guilty after being made aware of the CCTV footage.

Victim ‘petrified’ inside his own house after attack.

Weaver said that the ordeal had affected his confidence, leaving him “feeling petrified inside my own house” and afraid to go into nearby town centres.

“I would just like to know why he became aggressive with me, and why he wouldn’t leave my house when I had asked him,” he said.

John Weate, defending, said Inglesby denied he had been using drugs at the time of the attack, but accepted he had been drinking. He said that he had broken up with a partner the day prior, who he has since reconciled with, and was sorry.

This was a terrifying incident.

Judge Brian Cummings, QC, said: “From the victim’s point of view this was a terrifying incident.

“It was quite apparent viewing that CCTV footage that you were behaving in a very alarming and generally irrational manner.

“Plainly your behaviour was threatening, plainly at times and on the occasion of the punch to the face, it was actually violent.”

He added: “It’s quite apparent from your behaviour that the offences were committed by you when under the influence of something, and you certainly said in interview you had been drinking.”

He accepted however that testing had not found evidence of any drug taking.

As well as a 20 month sentence, Inglesby was given a five year restraining order preventing him from contacting Weaver. The judge said his crime was aggravated by his record, which also includes a three-year sentence for robbery, and the fact he was on licence at the time of the assault. He was recalled to prison after the incident.