Words: Steve Brown
A man who pleaded guilty to blackmailing a married man he met on Grindr has avoided jail.
Timothy Ruge reportedly threatened to expose the unnamed Grindr user last year and after the threat, he demanded to meet the man at a local train station to hand over the money.
He is believed to have asked for 1,300 Australian dollars – the equivalent to more than £700 – in exchange for not outing the victim as being gay.
Ruge appeared at Victorian County Court in Melbourne last week and pleaded guilty to making an unwarranted demand for money with menace.
Judge Lisa Hannan rejected claims Ruge’s lawyer made suggesting Ruge was trying to do the right thing but exposing cheaters and ‘paint himself as the moral guardian’.
She said: “He tries to paint himself as some type of moral guardian where he is blackmailing someone.
“You are properly described as at times exhibiting aggressive, at times threatening, and at other times taunting behaviour.
”In my view, it’s clear that your motivation was money and you saw a soft target, that is, a man who wished to keep his sexual preferences and activities confidential.”
The judge went on to tell Ruge to prepare for prison. However, according to The Age, Ruge was sentenced to serve a community order involving 220 hours of unpaid work.
He will also undergo drug and mental health treatment as part of his sentence.