Wednesday 18 July 2018

Man goes on trial accused of infecting two former girlfriends with HIV

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A man has gone on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of causing serious harm to two former girlfriends by infecting them with HIV.

The man (27) who cannot be named to protect the identities of the complainants in the case, has pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to two women on dates between November 2009 and June 2010.

In his opening address, prosecution counsel Dominic McGinn SC told the jury that it is alleged the man was aware of his diagnosis when he infected the women with HIV and this amounts to serious harm.

He told the jurors that HIV is a life altering virus that can be spread by having unprotected sex and that it can be life threatening if left untreated.

Mr McGinn said the jury would hear that the man was in relationships with both women at the time, but neither complainant knew about the other.

Counsel said there would be evidence that no condoms or barrier protection were used during sex in either relationship.

He said it was the State's case that in early 2010 one complainant became pregnant and was diagnosed with HIV after a standard screening process. Mr McGinn told the jury it would hear that the man was also tested as a result and that he appeared surprised by a positive diagnosis.

Counsel said the second complainant was tested and diagnosed in June 2010. Mr McGinn told the jury there would be evidence that the man subsequently had babies with both women, but the children did not contract the virus.

Mr McGinn said it was the prosecution's case that the man had been diagnosed with HIV in March 2008, that he was aware of his condition and advised about practicing safe sex.

He said it is alleged the man failed to tell either woman of his diagnosis and therefore caused them serious harm by infecting them with the virus.

Mr McGinn added that the jury would hear from a medical practitioner during the trial about the seriousness of being diagnosed with HIV.

Judge Martin Nolan warned the jury not to look up anyone connected to the trial on the internet or discuss the case with any other parties.

The trial is set to last seven days.

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