Man (28) who 'destroyed the lives of two women' by infecting them with HIV virus is jailed for 10 years
A man who caused serious harm to two former partners by infecting them with HIV has been jailed for 10 years.
The two women revealed in their victim impact statements that the 28-year-old African man would tell people to stay away from them because they had the virus.
One woman said the man, who can't be named to protect the victims' identities, "began to tell me repeatedly that nobody would want me" after her diagnosis. She said this was the reason she married him.
In her victim impact report, she said the man "pestered" her so much and wouldn't leave her alone, that she ended up in hospital and attempted suicide numerous times. She said he would "tell people I had HIV and not to go near me".
The second victim said she was close to overdosing on her HIV medication and found it hard to get out of bed when she was first diagnosed. She said when she drank she got drunk and "on a few occasions I tried to walk out in front of cars".
She said the man constantly rang, texted and followed her and would tell everyone she talked to that she had HIV. In her victim impact statement read out on her behalf, she said the man told her he still loved her even though he blamed her for infecting him. She said her former partner told her that nobody would want to be with her.
The man, who lives in Dublin, was convicted after a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial earlier this month found him guilty of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the two women on dates between November 2009 and June 2010. He pleaded not guilty to the offences.
Earlier this month, the Herald revealed that gardai believed he may have passed the virus to up to five other women through consensual sex and they have already received solid information about one potential victim.
In a separate development, the Herald also revealed theman was arrested on suspicion of rape which allegedly happened in south Dublin on March 16. It is claimed the man filmed the attack.
Yesterday, Judge Martin Nolan said the man's behaviour was "grossly reprehensible" and that he destroyed the two women's lives.
"Both injured parties are condemned to take medication for the rest of their lives and they have also been condemned in their ability to establish future relationships," he said.
The judge accepted the man was remorseful, that he was young at the time and had a difficult upbringing in his home country. He noted this was the first case of its kind in the country and that the Director of Public Prosecutions had given him no indication of where to place it in terms of seriousness.
The court heard the maximum penalty for serious harm offences is life in prison.
Garda Colm Kelly told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that the man commenced relationships with both women about the same time in 2009. The women detailed how the man was "reluctant" to use contraception and had unprotected sex in those relationships.
Gda Kelly said one woman found out she was pregnant in early 2010 and tested positive for HIV during ordinary neonatal screening. The man agreed to be tested and "expressed a degree of surprise" when his results came back positive.
Gda Kelly told Mr McGinn the second woman decided to get screened and found out she was HIV positive in June 2010.
The court heard Dr John Lambert was treating both women at the time and realised they had named the same man as their partner. The man denied any knowledge of the second woman when the doctor spoke to him about her.
Dr Lambert sought his medical records, which revealed he was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2008 and had received treatment, advice and medication.
The court heard the man had five previous convictions, including four for drugs and one for possessing a knife.