Man won’t go to trial for role in bizarre Grindr robbery

A MAN involved in a plot to rob a Casuarina man during a Grindr date has pleaded guilty.

Stewart John Saunders, 43, appeared before Lismore District Court via video link from custody on Friday to enter a guilty plea to one count of robbery in company.

He had previously intended to defend the charge and was set to go to trial next year.

Saunders pleaded guilty to robbing a 69-year-old man of his laptop, keys and iPhone during an incident on February 12 in a Casuarina unit.

Court documents reveal Saunders and his two co-accused, Jason Mark James of Cabarita Beach and Thomas Alfred Grover of Kingscliff, had worked together to rob the man.

James, 29, had organised to meet the victim at his Casuarina house after chatting for several hours on the Grindr dating app.

Court documents showed James, Saunders and Grover borrowed a car before arriving at the unit about 2.30am.

James and the victim consumed methylamphetamine in the kitchen before going upstairs to have consensual oral sex.

While the victim took a shower, James made multiple phone calls in hushed tones while sitting on the man's bed.

Grover is seen on CCTV to leave the apartment complex about 3.36am.

James opened the front door and let in Saunders, according to police facts.

The victim offered his wallet and cash and his documents in a black folder, laptop, iPhone and keys were also taken.

James and Saunders were seen leaving on CCTV at 3.43am.

Both James and Grover have since been sentenced for their involvement in the robbery.

Saunders, who did not apply for bail, will be sentenced on March 17.



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