Daryll R. will probably be released at the earliest in 2030
A 27-year-old HIV-positive hairdresser was sentenced to life in five cases on Wednesday afternoon by a criminal court in Brighton, south England, for life-threatening bodily harm. Judge Christine Henson found Daryll R., after a six-week trial, guilty of intentionally infecting at least five sex partners with HIV. According to the judgment, R. can be released prematurely after twelve years at the earliest.
The Edinburgh-born defendant had unprotected sex with at least ten men between October 2015 and December 2016 following a positive HIV test when he was not in retroviral treatment ?? in many cases he admitted to manipulating the condom. Five of the men who testified in court were HIV positive after the sex act, and another five were negative. According to testimony, the accused had behaved in a very ruthless manner, directly infecting his sex partners with whom he had come into contact through the Grindr dating app. Before she could arrest him, the police in Brighton publicly warned against R.
During the procedure, a doctor said that R. had refused to take antiretroviral drugs after being diagnosed with HIV, even though they are spent in the UK healthcare system for free. Sex partners stated that R. often insisted on unprotected sex and assured him that he was “clean”. Several times he had made condoms unusable, cut off about the top or secretly removed the condom during sex act.
R. taunted his partner after sex
After the sexual contact, R. often taunted his partners via phone or sms. In a case where his partner insisted on a condom, R. later said in a phone call, “I tore the condom off a bit, you’re so stupid, you did not even notice.” He wrote a sexual partner via SMS after unprotected sex: “I have HIV, LOL, Oops.” He tells another acquaintance, “Maybe you have a fever now? I have HIV, Oops.” In a text message to another man, he sneered: “I manipulated the condom. Got you!”
The victims, who had been tested HIV-positive, reported in court that often a world had collapsed for them. Some said they had thought about suicide. They also suffered from being tricked by such a cold-blooded man. In court, one of the victims said, “Daryll has destroyed my life, and I would have preferred it if he had killed me than to live like this.”
Judge: Defendant is “danger to gay men”
Judge Henson testified to the defendant’s “predatory behavior”? but there was no evidence that he was suffering from a personality disorder, so he was fully responsible for his actions. “I do not know how much longer you will pose a danger to gay men,” Henson said at the verdict. At the same time, she affirmed that the sentence “is not about stigmatizing people living with HIV”.
The defenders of R. had demanded a milder sentence, since HIV is more treatable nowadays and positives meanwhile have a “long life expectancy”. They warned that a harsh public opinion could help to identify HIV-positive people as a danger to the public. This could fall back into the times of the AIDS panic of the eighties and nineties.
This case is absolutely unprecedented and its first time an individual has ever been convicted of intentional #HIV transmission in England. We strongly condemn Rowe’s actions and hope that the case does not fuel the stigma and misinformation that still surrounds HIV. https://t.co/Phw6m1jqs8
Terrence Higgins Trust (@THTorguk) April 18, 2018
Twitter / THTorguk | The Terrence Higgins Trust, a British AIDS organization, emphasized that such a case has never happened before
In fact, AIDS activists see a general criminalization of HIV-positive in Germany critical, at least in amicable sex without manipulated condoms. HIV prevention should not be imposed on one-sided positive people. The National AIDS Advisory Council of the Federal Government criticized in 2013 that criminal proceedings in HIV transmission after consensual sex “would make no contribution to HIV prevention” ( queer.de reported ). In addition, studies show that in a successful retroviral treatment, the viral load on positives is so low that the infection of a sex partner is practically impossible even without a condom ( queer.de reported ). (Dk)