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Australian Capital Territory, News

Gay hookup site user targeted by violent robbers

A Canberra man has admitted his role in robbing a victim he met on gay hookup site Squirt.

Lachlan Robert Wilson, 18, pled guilty last week to robbing the man in November, threatening him with a steak knife and demanding cash after initially meeting online.

After first representing himself to the victim as an adult, Wilson claimed at the time of meeting in person at an apartment to be only 15 years old, The Riot ACT has reported.

He and a younger man called the victim a “paedophile” and forced him to empty his bank account at a nearby cash machine.

The two allegedly demanded further cash within a week, threatening to expose the victim otherwise, but he reported them to the police once they left.

Australian Federal Police officers began speaking by text message the following day with someone who was using Wilson’s phone number.

“[This] won’t be going away for a long time unless I get my [fair] share of money,” a text from Wilson’s phone allegedly read. 

“I know your name, address, [your] car details, and videos of you grooming children. 

“A good idea would be to sell your valuables!” 

Asked by police whether $800 would be sufficient, the person using Wilson’s phone allegedly replied, “Fuck no. $800 for this to be done? 

“I’ll be expecting at least six more payments of the same nature in quick succession. 

“And that’s just the beginning. Unless you want to pay a big lump sum of money at once which will be cheaper for [you] in the long run.”

Wilson was arrested two days after the incident and has pled guilty to robbery but maintained a not guilty plea to a charge of blackmail.

He has been committed to the Supreme Court for trial on the blackmail charge and sentencing on the robbery charge, with his next appearance scheduled for next week.

Wilson’s alleged 16-year-old accomplice, who cannot be named, has appeared before the Children’s Court after also being arrested.

The incident follows a number of scams and violent crimes committed via hookup apps and sites in recent years. 

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