A warrant has been issued for a man who recently became the first gay person to be prosecuted for recklessly passing on the HIV virus.

Mark James of West Sussex admitted to the charges last April but yesterday failed to turn up for sentencing.

Judge Jonathan Lowen at Isleworth Crown Court said that sentence would be passed down for the florist in his absence if he was not caught soon.

James had been labelled “callous” for infecting his lover during a two year relationship, in which he failed to inform his partner of the disease.

His ex partner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, found out about the condition through a mutual friend.

Isleworth Crown Court found the 47 year old guilty of grievous bodily harm. He had initially pleaded guilty on the advice of his barrister but later was stopped from reversing it after questioning scientific evidence further.

Detective Constable Elliot Toms said: “He is a callous individual who has behaved in an unfaithful way. He gave us no indication as to his intent or motivation.”