A South Australian man is facing years in prison after luring an elderly man on Grindr and torturing him for four hours in an alleged vigilante attack.
21-year-old Charlie Michael Edward Caire found the victim on Grindr before capturing him and torturing him in Murray Bridge in February 2020, The Advertiser reported.
Prosecutor Ben Sturn told the state’s District Court the violence as “the most sustained and intense period of physical pain” the victim had ever endured.
Sturn said Caire bound and blindfolded the victim before punching and kicking him during the “unimaginable” ordeal.
“There were times during that he could not breathe. He was effectively completely helpless,” he said.
“He was then tortured with quite a horrific array of weaponry that includes an electric drill.”
Other weapons used included a taser, gas lighter, syringes, secateurs and a knife, and Caire also tried to extract money from the victim.
Caire sliced the victim’s arm with the knife and injected the victim with the syringes that he claimed “contained AIDS”.
The victim believed he would die and said Caire told him his body “would never be found”.
“He was completely at the mercy and whim of his captor,” Sturn told the court.
Grindr attacker in ‘drug frenzy’ during ‘vigilante’ attack
Charlie Caire previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges including false imprisonment, aggravated blackmail and aggravated causing harm with intent, The Advertiser reported.
Caire’s lawyer told the court the accused had obtained a photo of a man he believed had abused a child.
After searching on Grindr, he believed the victim’s profile photo matched the photo. The court heard the child abuse allegations were unsubstantiated.
“[Caire’s] initial intention was to confront him to try and identify if this was the person who committed that assault,” Caire’s lawyer said.
He said the 21-year-old was in a “drug frenzy” at the time of the attack. In the months prior, Caire had “spiralled downward” and spent thousands on methamphetamine.
Caire was “deeply remorseful” and feels “awful” about the attack, his lawyer said.
His lawyer also told the court if Caire was sober he never would have chosen “to undertake this vigilante justice.”
Caire is now facing a maximum penalty of life in jail, according to the Advertiser. The court will sentence him in April.