Man Convicted of Adding Acid to Lube Dispensers at Australian Gay Sex Club, Avoids Jail

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(EDGE) A man who was convicted of pouring hydrochloric acid into the lube dispensers at a gay sex club in Sydney, Australia avoided jail time as a court ruled the attempted attack was not an anti-gay hate crime, according to Pink News.

Instead of being sentenced to prison, Hengky Irawan, 62, received a good behavior bond when the court ruled the incident wasn't motivated by hate.

It was reported in August Irawan was arrested after police claimed he tried to pour the acid at Aarows sex club in Sydney's Rydalmere neighborhood. Officials said at the time Irawan tried to enter the club, which bills itself as "Sydney's gay and bi social club," as a patron but officers caught him after an alarm on the dispensers was triggered, alerting security at the 24-hour club.

Irawan was charged with administering poisons with intent to cause pain, entering a licensed premies to commit an indictable offense and intentionally damaging the dispenser. He first appeared in court in September and again this week.

Irawan's lawyer applied to have the charges considered under Australia's Mental Health Act. The court saw medical documents, including a psychologist's report, that claims Irawan was mentally ill and the attack was an "irrational uncharacteristic episode," Pink News writes.

"[This was] not a hate crime ... this can only be explained in reference to his mental health ... [he was] in the midst of a major depressive episode," Irawan's lawyer reportedly said.

Doctors recommended a treatment plan for Irawan, which includes visits with psychologists.

Nevertheless, Nathan Blatch, a police prosecutor, argued the incident was a "textbook example for hatred of people."

"[He] knows it to be a place where sexual intercourse takes place," he said, according to Pink News.

Magistrate Beverly Schurr ruled otherwise, however, agreeing Irawan did not carry out the act because he hated LGBT people but because he was angry for being kicked out of Aarows once himself.

"It was directed towards patrons at the nightclub because he felt aggrieved about being kicked out earlier in the year," she reportedly said. "[It was] not about their sexual orientation ... [He was] angry about being excluded himself."


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