Elderly man tortured for hours with ‘horrifying array of weaponry’ in Grindr ‘drug-frenzy’

A person looks at the Grindr app in the App Store on an iPhone.

An elderly man in Australia was lured by a 21-year-old via Grindr and subjected to hours of torture with a “horrifying array of weaponry”.

Charlie Michael Edward Caire pleaded guilty at the District Court of South Australia to multiple crimes, including false imprisonment, aggravated blackmail and aggravated assault, which took place in February, 2020, according to ABC News.

The court heard that Caire had been in a methamphetamine-fuelled “drug frenzy” when he created a fake profile on the dating app Grindr to lure his victim, who at the time he believed was guilty of assaulting his friend.

Wanting to “teach him a lesson”, he met up with the elderly man behind a supermarket, before convincing to come back to his brother’s house.

Once there, he blindfolded his victim and tortured him for hours on end. Caire used an electric drill and a taser on the man, held a gas lighter to his head, put his fingers in secateurs and sliced his arm with a knife while demanding money.

Prosecutor Ben Sturm told the court in his submission for sentencing: “The defendant sought to make monetary gain by detaining and torturing an elderly man in quite a horrid fashion and this occurred over a sustained period of time.

“A syringe was injected into his right arm on the inside of his elbow and he was told it contained AIDS.

“He was told his body would be dumped where it would never be found.

“The victim himself experienced the most sustained and intense period of physical pain he has ever endured, without doubt.”

Defending, Joel Horskins said Caire had suffered “childhood trauma”, and had spent $10,000 on methamphetamine in the three months before creating the fake Grindr profile.

He said: “If he was sober, he would not have made the choice to undertake this vigilante justice, so to speak.

“He didn’t necessarily plan to assault him in the manner he did, but he did have in mind to perhaps teach him a lesson if it was the person he believed had assaulted his friend’s brother.

“The use of the various tools and weapons, that wasn’t planned, he chose those things spontaneously… it wasn’t necessarily a well thought out exercise.”

Horskins said Caire had held down a stable job and a long-term relationship before he was made redundant and his father passed away.

“Everything that could have gone wrong did and unfortunately he turned to drugs,” he said.

“And in that drug frenzy he’s made these horrific decisions and he deeply regrets that.

“He still wants to make something of himself.

“He’s determined to not let this offending define him and nor does he wish for the childhood trauma to define him either.”

Caire will be sentenced by judge Liesl Chapman in April.