A hairdresser has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years at Brighton crown court after deliberately trying to infect 10 men with HIV.
Daryll Rowe, 27, from Brighton, showed no emotion as he was sentenced for five charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.
After being diagnosed in April 2015 in his home city of Edinburgh, Rowe met men on gay dating app Grindr and had sex with eight of them in Brighton, East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, before fleeing to the north-east where he went on the run from police, targeting two more men.
His six-week trial heard he embarked on a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect men with HIV, refusing treatment and ignoring advice from doctors.
He insisted on having unprotected sex with men, claiming he was “clean”. When they refused, he tampered with condoms, tricking them into thinking he was practising safe sex.
Afterwards Rowe would become aggressive and taunted some of the men in text messages. He repeatedly lied to authorities and would use aliases with his victims.
Judge Christine Henson QC, sentencing, referred to his crimes as a “determined hateful campaign of sly violence”.
“You are the first individual to be sentenced for section 18 offences in the context of infecting others with HIV,” she said.
“With the full knowledge of the risk you posed to others and the legal implications of engaging in risky sexual practices, you embarked on a deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus.
“Unfortunately for five of the men you met your campaign was successful.”
The judge added: “They describe living with a life sentence as a result of your cruel and senseless acts. Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you.
“Given the facts of this case and your permissive predatory behaviour I cannot see when you would no longer be a danger to gay men.
“In my judgment the offences, taken together, are so serious, that a life sentence is justified. You will potentially remain a danger to others for the rest of your life.”