Five youths sentenced for unprovoked attacks on gay men in Christchurch, filming the assaults

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 28, 2024 |

Five teenagers have appeared in the Christchurch Youth Court for their part in a series of extremely violent attacks on gay men they meet up with through dating apps, including Grindr.

The assaults, which occurred last year, targeted innocent men in secluded areas during late hours.

The Christchurch Press reported that one of the offenders can be heard on a video, as a victim is beaten unconscious, saying “yeah go to f******* sleep.”

One victim told the New Zealand Herald “the last thing he could remember from the attack was a rock hitting him in the head before the group fled.”

In a statement, Detective Senior Sergeant Damon Wells said the deliberate actions of these teenagers exploited the trust of their victims, leading to planned attacks with the intent to cause harm.

The courage of the victims was a critical element in the legal process.

“While details of the sentencing are subject to Youth Court restrictions, the victims showed incredible courage, and that has helped us convict these offenders.

The victims have done nothing wrong. The offenders made a choice to take advantage of people’s trust and planned these attacks with the intention of hurting people.

“While this sentencing brings some closure, it won’t undo the mental scars these victims have endured, or the pain they’ve gone through,” Wells said.

In response to these incidents, police are advocating for increased caution among dating app users.

“If you’re using an app for dating, tell a close friend if you’re meeting someone for the first time – where you’re going and who you’re meeting.

“Arrange to catch up in a busy location, and trust yourself; if something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to take action to keep yourself safe.

“The victims of these crimes have gone through an ordeal, but we can’t thank them enough for their bravery through this process.”

Three youths received six-month “informal plans” and 50 hours of community work.

Two other youths were handed a six months of supervision sentence and 150 hours community work.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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