Two friends who robbed men they met on Grindr have been jailed for 15-and-a-half-years.
Leeds Crown Court heard Kieran Grant, 20, and Aidon Murthick, 19, arranged to meet men for sex in the northern city and in one incident, they threatened the man at gunpoint, wore clown masks and launched a random attack on a man as he was parking and tried to steal his car.
The two friends robbed a 21-year-old man after they arranged to meet him in Leeds back in 2016.
Prosecutor Christine Egerton said Murthick contacted the victim on the dating app using the username Daryl and arranged to meet for sex.
When he got there, Murthick got in the man’s car before Grant – who was hiding behind a balaclava – opened the door and pointed a handgun at the victim.
Edgerton said: “He told [the victim] to get out of the car and lie on the floor.
“He said this while he was pointing the gun at him and he asked for the keys to the car and for money.”
The victim managed to escape after the friends stole his car and drove away at speed, The Northern Echo reported. Police found the car abandoned the next day.
Three days later, a 25-year-old man was sitting in his car when Grant, Murthick and another man attacked him.
He was punched in the face repeatedly and the third man, who was not traced, hit the victim’s legs with a mallet. The three men left empty handed after attacking the man.
In January 2017, Murthick arranged to see a man he met on Grindr using his fake profile.
Ms Egerton said the victim was given an address but when he arrived the two men – who donned clown masks – ran at his car.
One was carrying an item wrapped in a towel while the other carried a shovel.
After threatening to shoot then man, they stole his car but were caught following a police chase.
Grant admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm while Murthick admitted robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.
Grant also admitted handling stolen goods worth £6,600, which were taken in a burglary at an house in July 2017.
Michael Collins, for Grant, said: "He is remorseful for his conduct. The role he took was directed by others higher up the chain."
Giles Bridge, for Murthick, said the two were childhood friends and his client had been in care from his early teens.
Mr Bridge said: "At the time of the offences he wasn't in work. He was effectively homeless and receiving very little support."
Grant was sentenced to eight-and-a-half-years in a young offender institution and Murthick to seven years.