Teen jailed for robbing man at knifepoint after meeting on gay dating site

19 year-old, Ashely Jackson

A teenager who pulled out a knife and robbed a man in his 40s after meeting him for a date in Hackney, London in 2022 has been jailed.

Ashley Jackson, 19, was arrested and then jailed for robbery and possessing a knife. The teenager was sentenced on Tuesday (10 January) to 40 months for the robbery and a further six months for possessing a knife. He will serve the sentence concurrently.

Snaresbrook Crown Court was told how the teenager had arranged to meet the man, who he had spoken to on a dating site. The pair arranged to meet in the Hackney area on 11 November last year.

After they spent time together, Jackson pulled out a knife from his sleeve, threatened his date, and demanded that he give him money. Stealing £180 from the victim before calling a taxi and leaving the scene, he was arrested four days later by police.

“The effects of becoming a victim of robbery, particularly where there is threat of violence, run far deeper than a loss of cash or property – they can be traumatic and long-lasting,” said Detective Constable Alex O’Sulivan, who investigated the robbery.

“Jackson has now been removed from the community, where he can no longer victimise the public.

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I sincerely hope this brings the victim the sense that justice has been served.”

This isn’t the first time gay men have been victims of crime while using dating sites

The crimes of the ‘Grindr killer’ Stephen Port shocked the LGBTQ+ community to its core, highlighting worries about using dating sites. Port murdered at least four young men – Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor – after meeting them from the app.

Port’s killing spree lastedfor 16 months between 2014 and 2015. He used queer dating apps to target his victims, and drugged, raped and killed them before dumping their bodies near his east London home.

Criminals have even used HIV as a weapon, deliberately infecting people

Daryll Rowe was given a life sentence for infecting five men with HIV after meeting them on a dating site. A documentary, The Man Who Used HIV As a Weapon, was created about his crimes. In it, Rowe told the BBC that he’d “[built] a really unhealthy relationship with sex, which I need to work on”.

Rowe even went as far as messaging his victims online after sleeping with them, taunting them and admitting he had HIV.

The criminal had unprotected sex and sabotaged condoms with a vile goal of infecting his victims.

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