A man that has become known as Melbourne’s ‘Tinder rapist’ has now told a court he has finally realised the extent of the damage he has inflicted on his victims, ahead of his court sentencing.
However, the women who had fallen prey to Glenn Hartland have disregarded his remorse as the kind of “lies and deceit” with which they are only too familiar.
Glenn, 44, sat at the back of the room where he watched his pre-sentence plea hearing in the County Court as three victims went into detail how the attacks devastated their lives.
A fourth woman’s brother, who had taken her own life earlier this year, spoke of the “permanent and unforgivable” damage that had been inflicted upon her family.
The prosecutor Andrew McKenry, described in great detail about the attacks in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs between May 2014 and March 2016. Incidentally, Hartland has pleaded guilty to three charges of rape and one of indecent assault.
His surviving victims wept quietly and another had to leave the room as their statements were read aloud.
Hartland had seduced the women via the dating app “Tinder” and started intimate relations with them before engaging in forced, indecent assault and non-consensual sex.
The rapes had occurred in the victims’ homes, with Hartland shouting and abusing one lady from outside her home until she let him in.
The indecent assault happened in the toilet of a St Kilda hotel where Hartland pinned the victim against the wall of a cubicle and ripped off her underwear.
One woman had spoken of how Hartland would combine “grandiose romantic gestures” and charm with threats of suicide and violent mood swings to control and manipulate his victims.
All three ladies had described themselves as strong-willed and intelligent women before the assaults had taken place. After the attacks, Hartland had left them riddled with self-doubt, PTSD and derailed their personal and professional lives.
Hartland also faces charges of use of carriage service to harass and distribution intimate images.
Judge Paul Higham had described the latter as “revenge porn” and particularly serious, as the explicit videos and photos “could never be reclaimed”.
Later that day, Hartland’s barrister Greg Barns said he had spoken with his client briefly after hearing the prosecution’s case.
Mr Barns said, “The penny has finally dropped,”.
“He’s appalled by what he’s done.”
Mr Barnes said Hartland had accepted he would “go to jail for a lengthy period of time” and be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
He noted his Hartland complicated childhood as well as substance abuse and mental health issues.
Hartland was born in New Zealand and became a ward of the state from the age of 12 months.
After a number of breakdowns with his foster families and many failed attempts to be reunited with his mother, Hartland then moved to Western Australia to be with her in 1981.
Judge Higham accepted Hartland’s guilty plea had reduced the impacts of a trial on the victims, despite Hartland’s previous attempt to change that plea.
Speaking outside court after the hearing, two of Hartland’s victims described his lawyer’s comments as “disingenuous”.
“I’ve heard it all before,” said one. “It’s his ‘I’m a victim, poor me’ routine.” Hartland will be sentenced on May 10.
Lifeline 13 11 14; beyondblue 1300 22 4636