Hairdresser sentenced to life for deliberately infecting men with HIV
A hairdresser has been sentenced to life in prison for deliberately infecting men with HIV after meeting them on Grindr.
Daryll Rowe had requested a more lenient punishment, with his lawyers asking the judge to pass a sentence that would not add to the "social stigma" of HIV, but inform the public the virus is not what it was in the 1990s.
Yesterday afternoon at Brighton Crown Court, in the UK, Judge Christine Henson QC disagreed, and made history by sentencing Rowe to life with a minimum term of 12 years.
He is the first person in England to be convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to HIV.
Rowe's six-week trial heard he embarked on a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect men with the disease, refusing treatment and ignoring advice from doctors.
He insisted on having unprotected sex with men, claiming he was "clean". When they refused, he tampered with condoms, tricking them into thinking he was practising safe sex.
Rowe showed no emotion as prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC read out statements from nine of his 10 victims, which she said showed the "devastating consequences" of his actions.
Many told how they had considered suicide having suffered physical and psychological damage, needing to take daily medication.
One said: "Daryll has destroyed my life. I would rather he had murdered me than left me to live my life like this."
The court heard it was the first case in which someone was to be sentenced for GBH after intentionally infecting others with the HIV virus.
Felicity Gerry QC, defending, had highlighted comparable cases from around the world, urging the judge to pass a sentence that would not add to the "social stigma" of HIV, but inform the public the virus is not what it was in the 1990s.
"He was a vulnerable young man in a community where the disclosure of one's HIV status remains unusual, in the context of how he was meeting people," she said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)