(This happened in 2013)
A man who infected his teenage girlfriend with HIV then urged her to 'sleep around' to spread the virus was jailed for four-and-a-half years today. The 32-year-old hid the fact he was HIV positive from the girl, who was only 16 when they met. She only discovered she was infected with the virus when she went for a hospital appointment, by which time the couple had a one year old son.
Once the girl knew she was infected, the man urged her to sleep with other people so they wouldn't be alone in having HIV. The court heard that as well as the teenager, the man had unprotected sex with three other women, playing 'Russian Roulette' with their lives. One, in her 20s, was later diagnosed with HIV. The other two women were tested, but found not to have been infected.
The 'callous' man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied inflicting grievous bodily harm between 2006 and 2008 but was found guilty following an eight-day trial at Leicester Crown Court. He was jailed for four and a half years and given a 10-year anti-social behaviour order which bans him from having penetrative sex with anyone without disclosing to them that he is HIV positive. If he breaches the order, which includes protected sex, he can be jailed for up to five years.
The Zimbabwean immigrant - who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK - met the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in 2006. She told jurors that a few months into the relationship, he suggested they try for a baby. She told the court she was 'surprised' and thought she was 'too young' but agreed because she was in love with him. They moved in together after she fell pregnant, but the man soon became 'violent and aggressive'.
The woman, now in her 20s, said that after she went back to college following the birth of a son, he would often bring girls to their home while she was out, claiming they were 'just friends'. But when their child was a year old, the man started showing signs of a sexually transmitted infection - which he blamed on her 'cheating'. The couple went to hospital for tests and doctors asked the woman if she was aware her partner was HIV positive. She broke down as she told the court how she was tested for the virus - and the following day was given the devastating news that she too had it. Their son was also checked - but his result was negative.
The woman, who gave evidence from behind a screen told the court: 'I was very surprised and puzzled because I had been living with this man for two years and he never mentioned it at all to me.
'He said he had told me, and I said "No, you did not"’. 'That is something that is so important. He didn’t seem fazed by it. It did not surprise him.' The woman, whose dreams of becoming a midwife were wrecked by the diagnosis, said she managed to forgive him as their son 'needed two parents'. It was during this time that the man asked her to 'sleep around and give it to other people'. The woman wept as she told a jury how he ‘believed he should spread the HIV as he hadn’t done anything wrong to get it’.
She said: 'This was so it would not just be us that were HIV positive. 'He believed that he had done nothing wrong or anything to get the virus. He believed he should not have the virus so he should spread it.' Throughout the trial, the man claimed he had told all his partners that he was HIV positive. A charge of GBH relating to the other woman he infected was thrown out after judge Michael Pert QC ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove sex with the man was the only way she could have caught the disease.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC told the man: 'You found out in 2004 that you were HIV positive. 'You were very angry and bitter about that. You were then utterly selfish and irresponsible and, in that sense, a dangerous man.' Rebecca Herbert, prosecuting, said: 'Few women in their right minds, let alone two or, indeed, four of them, would have unprotected sex with a man with HIV.
'He’s been utterly selfish, showing callous disregard and recklessness towards them and their wellbeing. 'Having unprotected sex with someone who is HIV positive is a bit like Russian Roulette. You might be lucky and might not get it - or you might.'