A HIV positive hairdresser who went on rampage infecting victims has been convicted and thrown into prison after he was found guilty.
A hairdresser has been found guilty of deliberately infecting five men with HIV and trying to infect a further five after meeting them on the dating app Grindr, according to Guardian UK.
He was convicted of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and a further five counts of attempted GBH, following a trial at Lewes crown court.
Jurors at a trial court in Lewes crown court were told how Daryll Rowe, 27, had taunted his victims, texting one: “I have HIV. Lol. Whoops!”
The prosecution said Rowe went on a “campaign” in the Brighton area to infect as many men as possible during a four-month period from October 2015, and warned that there might be further victims.
The court heard that Rowe repeatedly sabotaged condoms, and then mocked victims saying that he was “riddled” with the virus after they raised concerns. One man said that Rowe was “laughing” when he called, adding: “Burn. I got you.”
Rowe was first arrested in February 2016, but denied that he was HIV positive in his first police interview. The police put out a public health warning, asking men who had had intercourse with a man matching Rowe’s description to contact the authorities.
Rowe then went on the run in November 2016, targeting two more men in the north-east while using a fake name. When he was finally arrested, he was found with a rucksack of sabotaged condoms.
The court heard that Rowe was aggressive and abusive towards his victims. In one incident, Rowe told an Aids and HIV charity worker, who was diagnosed after they were involved, that “moaning” would not cure him.
The charity worker had never had unprotected sex and was taking tests every six months. He described the news of his diagnosis as like being “hit by a bus”, adding: “You feel like your life is over. You feel like you should go to a high place and jump.”
One victim said that he had believed that Rowe was his boyfriend, but that the hairdresser had become increasingly abusive and possessive over the course of the relationship.
Rowe looked after him when the younger man was first diagnosed, but sent abusive messages after they broke up, including: “You’re a f****** psychopath, you’re afraid of your own shadow. I can do much better than you. I’m way, way out of your league.”
Another text said: “No-one will ever love you.”
Originally from Edinburgh, Rowe was diagnosed with the virus in April 2015. Doctors became concerned when he stopped turning up to appointments and refused antiretroviral treatment, which would have made him less contagious.
Rowe had been warned that he could be prosecuted for passing on the virus, and prosecutors said that the explicit messages to his victims showed a detailed knowledge of the disease and its treatments.
The court heard that several victims were infected with a very similar HIV strain to that carried by Rowe, making it highly likely he was the source of the virus.
Over the course of the trial, Rowe denied deliberately infecting the men, but the jury of seven women and five men returned the verdicts after 18 hours of deliberating.
Rowe said that he thought he had cured himself of HIV after taking a variety of non-traditional medication, including “urine therapy”.
Rowe, who cried in the dock, said: “I never had in my mind before, during or after any of the intercourse that I wanted to pass on HIV to anybody.”
He said he did not remember the text saying: “I have HIV”.
Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting, said it was “convenient” he could not remember sending the “damning text” and branded him a “comfortable liar”.
Source: Guardian UK.