An elderly gay man in South Australia, who was the victim of a sickening and targeted crime after he was lured on Grindr in February 2020, has once again been let down.

As reported by Star Observer in March, Charlie Caire had lured an elderly man to a Murray Bridge house in February 2020. Charlie and his brother Brett then tortured the victim with what was described as a ‘horrifying array of weaponry, including, having a gas lighter held to his head and being probed with a taser and electric drill.

The victim’s arm was also sliced with a knife and his fingers placed between secateurs and he was injected with a needle that the brothers made him believe contained AIDS.

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The victim was warned that “there’d be consequences” if he did not hand over $5,000 in cash.

Leniency In Sentencing Brothers

Adelaide district court judge Liesl Chapman in April 2021 handed down 21-year-old Charlie Caire a suspended sentence.

ABC reported that Judge Chapman recently sentenced Brett Caire (37) to five years, two months and 22 days with a non-parole period of two years and seven months. With time already served since his arrest in February 2020, Caire will walk free by September 2022, to then serve the rest of his time on parole among the community.

According to the ABC, the court heard how Brett Caire acted as an accomplice to his younger brother to avoid having his sibling call him “a goodie two shoes’.

Brett pleaded guilty to an array of charges including  aggravated blackmail, false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated causing harm with intent, aggravated assault to cause harm and theft.

Chapman noted that Charlie had told his brother that the man was a pedophile (there was no evidence placed before the court to substantiate this allegation) and offered to pay his sibling to help bash him.

The ABC reported that while Chapman stated that Brett Caire had been physically and emotionally abused by his own mother, his sympathy for his younger brother’s apparent cause did not excuse the use of “vigilante justice”.

“You thought it was easy money to be made and thought the victim was a filthy, horrible person from what you had been told by your brother. You were also worried if you said no to your brother, he would call you a ‘goodie two shoes’,” Chapman said.

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“People must not take the law into their own hands… It was a brutal attack on a victim who was particularly vulnerable because of his age … He was terrified,” Chapman said, adding that Brett Caire’s involvement was not premeditated but understood he was torturing the victim with the expectation he would profit from it.

The ABC also revealed that a request made by Brett Caire’s lawyers that would have allowed him to serve out his sentence in home detention was denied. However Chapman, believed Brett Caire would benefit from a relatively short non-parole period, with drug, housing and mental health support to rehabilitate him once he left prison.

Judge Had Called Charlie ‘A Remarkable Young Man’

Despite Charlie having plead guilty to numerous offences, including false imprisonment, aggravated blackmail and aggravated assault, Chapman had weighed up what was described as ‘great adversity’ in his life when handing down just five-years-and-six-months in prison with a non-parole period of two years and 10 months, backdated to when Caire was first taken into custody, in February 2020. The judge in April 2021 had ordered his release on a suspended sentence.

“You have shown courage, strength and resilience during a childhood which no child should have to endure,” said Chapman, while describing Charlie as a “remarkable” young man.“You started training to become a youth worker because you wanted to protect children. Despite all the adversity in your life, you were managing very well, you were doing more than keeping your head above water, you were making positive contributions to the community and were taking positive steps along a clearly defined path.”

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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