Sunday 22 July 2018

Man accused of infecting women 'tried to keep clinic visit secret'

Stock photo
Stock photo

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A witness in the trial of a man accused of infecting two women with HIV has said he asked her not to tell anyone when she bumped into him at a clinic for people diagnosed with the virus.

The witness told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, the accused (27) had followed her in the clinic, and said he had only found out about his diagnosis and asked her not to tell anyone.

The woman told Mr McGinn this was around 2008 or 2009. She said she was aware he was in a relationship with one of the complainants in the case in 2010 and that she had known the accused in passing since 2008.

The woman accepted in cross-examination she had told gardaí she had met the accused man at the HIV clinic in 2010. She told Paul Greene SC, defending, she had tried as best she could with dates when giving her statement. When Mr Greene suggested to her that she met his client at the clinic in 2010, she replied "roughly".

The man, an African national who cannot be named to protect the identities of the complainants in the case, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to two women on dates between November 2009 and June 2010.

In his opening address, Mr McGinn told the jury it was alleged the man was aware of his diagnosis when he infected the women and this amounted to serious harm. On day three of the trial, the second complainant gave evidence that she started a relationship with the accused in 2009 and that he told her he had removed a condom the first time they had sex. The woman told Mr McGinn she "thought it was very sneaky".

She said she went to a doctor in 2010 with abdominal pains and as a result got tested for infectious diseases.

The woman agreed under cross-examination that she had casual sexual relationships with other African men before she began going out with the accused but could not say with how many men.

The trial continues in evidence tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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