2 UK Men Sentenced for Blackmailing Men Via Grindr

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday September 5, 2014

Two men from the United Kingdom, who were found guilty of blackmailing gay men on the gay hookup app Grindr, have each been sentenced to four years in jail, Gay Star News reports.

Nathanael Foster and Adam Webb, both 26 and from Gloucester, South West England, were charged with two counts of blackmail. They were found guilty of posing as young 15-year-old boys, a year under the age of consent, and filmed them meeting men they met on Grindr in order to extort money from them.

One of the victims gave the duo $25,000. The victim took the money out of the bank and gave it to the men after they stayed in his home all night to make sure he forked over the money. When he told the pair he didn't have any more money, Foster and Webb told him to crash his car into a store and get the cash. That's when the victim called the police.

The men told Gloucester Crown Court they carried out their actions of extorting money and blackmailing gay men because they were "good citizens." According to Matthew Harbinson, Foster's lawyer, the men were trying to catch people who wanted to have sex with underage individuals, not men engaging in sex with other men. Harbinson added that the men were also smoking pot at the time.

During the hearing, Foster and Webb admitted to two counts of blackmail. Gay Star News reports that the Gloucester Citizen reported that Judge Jamie Tabor said:

Blackmail is always a mean and despicable offense. The hypocrisy with which you committed these offenses is breathtaking. You said you started off as good citizens but when you discovered your second victim had no money you told him to carry out a ram raid to get it. In the other case to all intents and purposes you falsely imprisoned your victim in his own home for ten hours until he could get the money.