A Melbourne man has been handed an eight-month Intensive Correction Order after pleading guilty to robbing men at beats, performing oral sex on the victims while stealing wallets, money and car keys from trouser pockets.
Craig Cameron, 40, pleaded guilty to 13 charges of theft, including theft of a vehicle, at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
The court heard victims would enter Fitzroy Gardens, where they were lured by the accused to receive oral sex, between 2003 and 2007.
Once the victim’s trousers were around his ankles, the court heard Cameron would pickpocket the victim’s keys and wallet, with many not realising they had been robbed until the next day.
On more than three occasions Cameron would leave the scene in the victim’s vehicle, abandoning it in a nearby suburb.
It’s believed 14 victims came forward with evidence to bring the case to court.
In other cases, Cameron would target men in or in front of well-known venues, including Wet on Wellington, Club 80, the Laird Hotel and the Peel Hotel.
The court heard Cameron met a victim at Wet on Wellington in 2007 who later drove him to a train station where Cameron took the man’s wallet from a bag and fled. The deception netted more than $1000 cash.
The court heard Cameron confessed to police in 2007, admitting he was deliberately hanging around gay venues to target victims because he was a drug addict and needed money.
Cameron’s defence lawyer said his client had a childhood -œmarked with insecurity, and had been the subject of repeated sexual abuse as a child.
The court heard Cameron had a -œlong history with substance abuse, and had sought help for his addiction.
Magistrate Phillip Goldberg said the accused had an -œunfortunate background with a reliance upon drugs.
-œHe used subterfuge to get money and prey on people, who, to put it in colloquial terms, were looking for rough trade, Goldberg said.
The case was investigated by the Yarra Crime Investigation Unit. Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers helped apprehend Cameron after a lengthy investigation.
Cameron had his licence cancelled and will have to report to a Community Correction Officer weekly.