Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for infecting two women with HIV

The 28-year-old was convicted of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to two former partners.

A man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for infecting two women with HIV in Ireland.

The man, who is aged 28, cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims.

He denied the charges but a jury unanimously found him guilty at Dublin Circuit Court of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to two former partners on dates between November 2009 and June 2010.

Garda Colm Kelly told the court that the accused started the relationships at around the same time in 2009.

He said the defendant had unprotected sex with both women and was reluctant to use protection.

One woman found out she had HIV after she became pregnant with his baby.

He also underwent screening and when he tested positive for HIV he “expressed a degree of surprise”.

It later emerged, however, that he was previously diagnosed with the disease in 2008 after being tested as a young asylum seeker after coming from Uganda.

The other woman also tested positive for HIV in June 2010 at the same location as the other woman.

The doctor treating both patients made the link that the women had the same partner.

The court heard that after his original diagnosis in 2008, the man was given treatment and medication and advised not to have unprotected sex.

When he was tested in 2010 and was found to have a high viral load, this implied he was not taking his medication.

It is the first case of its kind in Ireland.

The woman who had his first child and later went on to marry the accused, read an emotional statement in court on Friday.

He destroyed my soul and I'm a shadow of who I used to be. I'm now serving a prison sentence of my own now. One of the defendant's partners

She described how it has affected her psychologically, mentally and emotionally.

The woman told that court that after she was diagnosed with HIV, he told her than “no-one else would want me”, and that is why she married him.

After she left him she moved back to her family home to get away from the accused. The woman fought back tears as she told the court she tried to take her own life a number of times.

“When I tried to move on he showed up to where I was and told people I had HIV.

“I didn’t want to go out any more.”

She said her life has been “dramatically changed” by what happened and that she lost her car and job and is now on disability allowance, saying she doesn’t think she will work again.

“He destroyed who I used to be,” she added.

“He took my personality and everything that made me happy.

“He destroyed my soul and I’m a shadow of who I used to be.

“I’m now serving a prison sentence of my own now.

“My mind is stuck in the past. I have missed out on so many things.

“I had so many hopes and dreams for me and my daughter, now I can’t get out of bed and can’t encourage her to go out and chase her dreams.

“It kills me to see my daughter see how unhappy I am.”

The second woman, who is a mother to two of the man’s other children, said she became depressed after she was diagnosed with HIV.

In a statement read out in court by a prosecution barrister, she said: “I repeatedly tried to get away from him after I was diagnosed but he constantly rang me and followed me,” she said.

“When I was out he would would follow me and tell everyone I met that I had HIV.

“He blamed me for giving him HIV.”

She said she isolated herself from friends and family and had no confidence or self-worth.

The woman said it has also affected her daughter.

She was told by the accused that “no-one would want me” and this, she said, affected her confidence.

“What I find very upsetting is I’m stuck with this disease.”

A defence barrister told the court that the accused was remorseful for what happened.

The accused, who came from Uganda, was a child solider whose parents are both dead.

Judge Martin Nolan described his behaviour as “grossly reprehensible”, adding that he has destroyed the lives of the two women.

He said that both women have suffered and will “continue to suffer” because of his actions.

“He is an intelligent man and he must have known there was a significant chance to give them HIV.”

The defendant hung his head as he listened to the judge jail him for 10 years.

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