Thursday 22 August 2019

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

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

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, that the accused (27) had followed her while in the clinic, said he had only found out about his diagnosis and asked her not to tell anyone.

The woman told Mr McGinn that 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 that she had told gardaí she had met the accused man at the HIV clinic in 2010. She told Paul Greene SC, defending, that 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 that it was alleged the man was aware of his diagnosis when he infected the women with HIV 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 that she “thought it was very sneaky”. She said she continued going out with the man and would have sex with him in hotels about once a week.

“Contraception wasn't used, he wouldn't use any”, the woman told the court.

She said she went to a doctor in 2010 with abdominal pains and as a result got tested for infectious diseases. She said when she found out she had HIV, “I was just sitting there in shock”.

The woman agreed under cross-examination that she had had casual sexual relationships with other African men before she began going out with the accused. She agreed with Mr Greene that she had these relationships but could not say with how many men. She told counsel that she had oral sex during some of these encounters.

She further agreed she had a child with the accused after she had made her garda statements and that she had been in contact with him as recently as January 2018.

The woman explained that the accused would never leave her alone, even when she was trying to get away from him. The complainant told Mr McGinn in re-examination that she had used protection during sex in the casual relationships.

The trial continues in evidence on Friday before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of eight men and four women.

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