One of two brothers accused of kidnapping and horrifically torturing an elderly man they met on Grindr pleaded guilty in an Australian court earlier today. According to ABC News, Charlie Caire, 20, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, aggravated blackmail, aggravated assault, and other charges for his role in the brutal, drug-frenzied torture of man using an electric drill, taser, pruning shears, knives, and worse. His brother, Brett Caire, 36, was also charged in the attack and remains at trial.
The two brothers created a fake profile on Grindr to locate the man they believed had molested the younger brother of a best friend as a child. According to prosecutors, the molestation accusations against the elderly man were unsubstantiated. The court heard Charlie arranged to meet the man behind a supermarket, then lured him to his home in Murray Bridge in February last year. There, the elderly man undressed, and consented to being blindfolded and handcuffed by Charlie.
At this point, older brother Brett entered the room and the pair embarked on a drug-fueled torture session to "teach him a lesson" according to Charlie's lawyer, Joel Horskins. Prosecutor Ben Sturm described what followed as a "terrifying ordeal" as the man was tortured with a taser, electric drill, and knives. He was burned with a lighter, had his arm sliced open, and his fingers placed in pruning shears. He was also injected with blood the pair told him was contaminated with HIV.
"The victim himself experienced the most sustained and intense period of physical pain he has ever endured, without doubt," Sturm said at court, adding the pair told the victim "his body would be dumped where it would never be found."
The pair then demanded money and the passwords to the man's bank accounts and Grindr profile. The two intended to rob the man and erase any evidence of their communications. The victim, however, convinced the brothers his credits cards were at his home, and managed to escape after they drove him there.
Horskins told the court his client now deeply regretted his actions, and that drugs were the deciding factor in Charlie's decision-making.
"If he was sober, he would not have made the choice to undertake this vigilante justice, so to speak," Horskins told the court. "He didn't necessarily plan to assault him in the manner he did, but he did have in mind to perhaps teach him a lesson if it was the person he believed had assaulted his friend's brother."
Horskins went on to note the use of the "various tools and weapons" wasn't specifically planned beforehand, but that Caire "chose those things spontaneously" and that "it wasn't necessarily a well thought out exercise."
Horskins explained that Caire had stable employment, was in a long-term relationship, had his own rental home, and was active in sports, but descended into methamphetamine abuse following the death of his father, spending Australian dollars10,000 in three months to feed his habit.
"And in that drug frenzy, he's made these horrific decision and he deeply regrets that," Horskins said, adding his client "still wants to make something of himself" and is "determined to no let this offending define him."
Charlie will be sentenced by Judge Liesl Chapman some time next month.
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