Herpes man loses conviction appeal
A man jailed after infecting a woman with genital herpes has lost an appeal against conviction - but won a reduction in his jail term.
David Golding, 31, from Braunston, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty in July 2011 to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the woman, and was later sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London rejected his conviction challenge today, but reduced the sentence to three months.
Lord Justice Treacy, announcing the decision of the court, said that "notwithstanding his guilty plea", Golding sought to appeal against his conviction on the grounds of "a procedural deficiency on the part of the Crown Prosecution Service, fresh medical evidence as to the herpes infection, the adequacy of legal advice given to him and the effectiveness of his guilty plea".
The judge added: "After careful consideration we have come to the conclusion that this appeal must be dismissed in so far as it relates to conviction."
He ruled that there was "nothing in the fresh evidence which calls into question the safety of the admissions made by the appellant through his plea".
Overall "the safety of his plea is confirmed", he said, declaring that "none of the grounds of appeal put forward can succeed".
Lord Justice Treacy said the court had concluded that at the time it was imposed the 14-month sentence was justified.
The woman had suffered more than one outbreak and "has to live with the knowledge that it is a lifelong condition prone to recur at intervals".
He said: "Even allowing for the fact that some credit is due for a guilty plea, that the appellant was of previous good character, and that he had recklessly rather than deliberately infected his victim, we are not persuaded that any proper criticism can be levelled at the sentence imposed."
But because of a "considerable" delay in the appeal being heard, which was not the fault of Golding "in any way", the court had "exceptionally" concluded that the sentence should be three months.
Lord Justice Treacy added: "The appellant spent time in custody after conviction and sentence at the Crown Court. It is our intention, and the effect of our order is, that he will not in fact serve any further time in custody."
Golding, who was released on bail after his bid to appeal was launched following the Northampton Crown Court proceedings, was present in the dock of the courtroom to hear the outcome of his case.
Reducing the term to three months, Lord Justice Treacy told him: "Our understanding is that you have already served that time and therefore our intention is that you should be released today."