(LONDON) — A British man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of deliberately trying to infect 10 men with HIV.
Prosecutors alleged that Daryll Rowe, 27, infected five men through unprotected sex, and attempted to infect several others by intentionally damaging condoms.
Rowe, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2015, met men on the gay dating app Grindr, prosecutors said.
After having sex with his partners, he would message some of the victims saying, “I have HIV. Lol. Whoops,” according to The Guardian.
Christine Henson, the judge at his sentencing, said, “The messages you sent make it crystal clear you knew exactly what you were doing. As well as the physical offenses, it is clear for the victims the psychological effects are immense.”
“Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you,” she said, adding, “I cannot see how and when you will no longer be a danger to gay men.”
One of Rower’s victims testified during the six-week trial that he felt “pressured” into having sex with Rowe; another branded him as “grotesque” and a “sociopath.”
A third victim said Rowe had “destroyed my life. I would rather he had murdered me than left me to live my life like this.”
Rowe’s lawyer pleaded with the judge for a lighter sentence, arguing that a life term would stigmatize HIV sufferers.
Henson said the sentence would not be about “stigmatizing anyone with HIV,” but about the “immense” psychological effects Rowe caused his victims.
Rowe, who is 27, will serve at least 12 years of his sentence in prison. It is the first sentencing of its kind in the U.K., where a person is imprisoned for “grievous bodily harm” by intentionally infecting others with HIV.
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