Three teens jailed for robbery via the use of Grindr
Three teenagers have been jailed for numerous robberies and assault of men who had been enticed via one of the largest social media dating apps, Grindr.
Muhammad Umar, Mohammed Sohail Khan and Qaasim Ahmad, all 18 years old, created fake Grindr profiles to lure four men on false dates over a period of three months. At these fraudulent meetings, they would rob, assault and inflict verbal homophobic hatred upon their victims.
Today (11 December 2019) they were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court. Mohammed Sohail Khan received a total sentence of 17 years, Qaasim Ahmad received 17 years total, while Muhammed Umar received a total sentence of 15 years.
Michael Dinsey from the CPS West Midlands, said: “The defendants targeted the victims in this case because they believed they would be too ashamed of their sexual orientation to provide evidence to the police and court. The defendants did not take into account that there is no shame in being gay and they did not anticipate the courage and bravery of the victims, who showed remarkable strength in reliving the horrific brutality of the defendants actions against them.
“These convictions and sentences demonstrate that homophobia will not be tolerated by our society and the Criminal Justice system. The CPS will fully support victims of such crimes and bring perpetrators of such offences to trial.”
Developing the case
All four victims had suffered very similar horrendous ordeals which led the police and prosecution teams to believe they were dealing with the same gang. One of the victims was spat upon and DNA evidence showed that it matched that of Muhammad Umar.
Detailed evidence was found on the mobile phones belonging to the defendants and searches at their homes uncovered further items connecting them to the crimes.
Additional evidence gathered by the investigation and prosecution included CCTV from stores and ATM’s where the defendants fraudulently used bank cards stolen from their victims. As well as this, Snapchat (social media app) videos and phone records were unearthed to further incriminate the defendants.
The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the victims for giving evidence, the officer in the case for their relentless and thorough investigation and instructed Counsel, Caroline Carberry QC and Oliver Doherty, for their expert and detailed presentation of the Crown’s case to the jury.
Notes to editors
- Michael Dinsey is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands
- Mohammed Sohail Khan and Muhammad Umar pleaded guilty to both conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to rob at the start of their trial
- Mohammed Sohail Khan: Count 1 - Conspiracy to Rob. Custodial element: 13 years 4 months, with an extension of 44 months. Count 3 - Conspiracy to Burgle, 2 years concurrent
- Qaasim Ahmad: Count 1 - Conspiracy to Rob. Custodial element: 13 years 4 months, with an extension of 44 months. Count 2 - Conspiracy to Falsely imprison, 8 years concurrent. Count 3 - Conspiracy to Burgle, 2 years concurrent
- Muhammad Umar: Count 1 - Conspiracy to Rob. Custodial element: 11 years 3 months with an extension of 44 months. Count 3 - Conspiracy to Burgle, 2 years concurrent.