The three teens could be convicted because the police was able to take a DNA sample of the saliva, the BBC writes. More evidence was found on the mobile phones of the trio. One of the victims said in a statement that he was forced to lay with his face in the dirt while his hands and legs were bounded. “I didn’t know if I would ever see my family again,” he said according to the West-Midlands police. According to the authorities, the victims were humiliated with gay slurs.
Two perpetrators have been jailed for 13 years, one for 11 years. Chief Inspector Ian Ingram said: “This was a calculated series of robberies with the perpetrators deliberately targeting gay men via the dating app Grindr, because they believed they were vulnerable, easy targets.”
“I know it took the four victims in this case a huge amount of bravery and courage to come forward and support the criminal justice process through to trial - and I commend them for doing so.”
The felonies have impacted the life of the victims in a severe way. One of them said in a police press release. “Every time something reminds me of the attack, it takes me to a bad place and it affects my sleep. I have ongoing bad dreams particular about the moment of despair I felt at one point during the attack where I thought I would die in a horrible way. It is the memory of the fear of having that screwdriver rammed in my eye, that moment where the young man was threatening to do that.”
In the same press release, Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, issued the following safety advice: “If you decide to meet up in person with someone you have met online, it’s very important that you take precautions to ensure your personal safety. Never meet them at your home or even give them your address. Likewise, don’t go to theirs either. Meet in a public place and take your mobile phone with you.”