Grindr pair who targeted middle-aged gay men jailed for six years for false imprisonment at Northampton house

A couple who enticed a man to a Northampton house before subjecting him to a 'terrifying' attack and robbery have each been sentenced to six years in prison.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:14 pm

Jordan Bridge-Simmons and Tyrone Platt, both aged 20, contacted their victim on Grindr, a social networking website aimed at gay men.

They invited him to Bridge-Simmons’ mother’s home in Home Farm Close, Little Billing, where they beat him up in a darkened bedroom, scraping machetes together in the darkness to increase his fear.

Platt then escorted the man to a cash machine in Weston Favell and forced him to withdraw £300. On their return to the house, they found that a drunk Bridge-Simmons had crashed the victim’s black Mazda into a neighbour’s mini, which had then ploughed into it’s owners house, destroying the porch.

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As a result, the pair were later arrested and charged with a string of offences.

Last month, a jury found Bridge-Simmons guilty of actual bodily harm, robbery and false imprisonment. He had earlier admitted stealing the car and driving it while drunk.

Tyrone Platt was found guilty of false imprisonment. He had already admitted attacking the victim at the cash machine and robbing him.

Yesterday, at a sentencing hearing at Northampton Crown Court, Recorder Kelly said the most serious crime had been the false imprisonment.

He said: “He was subject to a terrifying ordeal. He was assaulted, locked in a room where there were knives and at points you were both naked.

“He was humiliated by your behaviour and I can’t imagine how frightened he would have been.”

Of the pair’s intentions, Recorder Kelly said: “You were targeting older gay men, The reason was that you felt they would be less likely to report this matter to police.”

The attack carried out at the house, which happened overnight on July 21, continued for over an hour.

At one point, the victim was led to the top of the stairs where Bridge-Simmons kicked his feet from under him and the pair tumbled down to the hallway.

Both defendants then kicked and hit the man to his stomach and head.

Bridge-Simmons then held onto the victim’s car keys while Platt escorted the man on foot to a cash machine in Weston Favell.

There, he stood nearby while the man withdrew £300, at which point he was struck again and the money was taken from him.

While there, Platt allegedly told the victim that “the last nonce” had paid him £1,000.

When they returned to Home Farm Close, Bridge-Simmons had crashed the victim’s car and was lying nearby, apparently having a fit.

Platt then ordered the victim to go home and report his vehicle stolen in the morning. Instead, he walked to Weston Favell Police Station and told officers of his ordeal.

Meanwhile, Bridge-Simmons was taken to Northampton General Hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma in intensive care. He was later arrested at the hospital and subsequently gave a blood sample which showed he was more than twice over the drink-drive limit.

Platt then turned up to see his boyfriend and, after initially giving a false name to officers, was also arrested.

During the course of the trial, Platt claimed he was a male escort and had struck a deal with the victim to have sex for £250.

Platt claimed that he had discovered the victim lying on top of his semi-conscious boyfriend in the bedroom, at which point the man apologised and offered the money willingly.

However, the jury found him guilty of all the offences that went to trial.

The court heard yesterday Platt had been convicted of a string of offences as a youth, including burglary, dishonesty and theft.

It was also revealed that Bridge-Simmons had been convicted of a common assault more than two years ago. The court heard yesterday that the Grindr scheme had activated a suspended sentence given for the robbery of a mobile phone in December 2014.

Recorder Kelly said both posed a risk of serious harm from future offences and each was handed six years’ jail for false imprisonment, of which they will spend four years in prison. When released, they will be have an extended licence period of one year.

Concurrent sentences were handed out for the other offences. Both were given four years for robbery, while for the actual bodily harm charge Platt was sentenced to eight months and Jordan Bridge-Simmons one year.