Daryll Rowe filmed lying about his HIV status after intentionally infecting victims
Chilling footage has emerged of Daryll Rowe lying to police about his HIV status after he deliberately tried to infect 10 men with HIV.
Rowe, 27, was found guilty of intentionally infecting four men with HIV and attempting to infect a further six, the first prosecution of its type in the country.
He met his victims using Grindr and insisted on unprotected sex with his partners, many of whom he met on Grindr, or sabotaged the condoms of men who refused.
Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, of Sussex Police, labelled Rowe a “dangerous man”, adding: “This trial is the first time a person has been charged and convicted of deliberately infecting others with HIV in the country.
“The verdict will bring some closure to the victims who have been very strong through the investigation.”
Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC described his crimes as “a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with HIV”.
Sussex Police released footage of Rowe being questioned about the accusations under caution.
The CCTV footage reveals him lying to officers about his HIV status, after going on a deliberate campaign to target the men he met on Grindr.
He claims to not know he has HIV, but it later transpired he had told victims he was HIV-positive and that he had tried to infect them.
One victim told of how Rowe bullied and threatened him into having bareback sex, before sending flippant texts revealing he was HIV-positive.
He told one victim, who was later diagnosed as HIV-positive, “Maybe you have the fever… I have HIV LOL.”
During the trial, the court was told that Rowe sent mocking text messages telling partners he was HIV-positive and that they could be at risk.
One received a text saying: “Maybe you have the fever. I came inside you and I have HIV LOL. Oops!”
In a phone call to one partner, who had insisted they use a condom, Rowe told him: “I ripped the condom. You’re so stupid. You didn’t even know.”
Another victim said he was pressured into bareback sex outdoors and feared Rowe would attack him.
Rowe was originally diagnosed as HIV-positive in April 2015, while living in Edinburgh, after a sexual health clinic informed him that a former partner had the virus.
Doctors said he was coping well with the diagnosis, but became concerned when he refused antiretroviral drugs that can make those infected less contagious, jurors heard.
“He was warned he could be prosecuted for passing [HIV] on or even putting someone at risk of contracting HIV from him,” prosecutors told the court.
Rowe refused to take HIV medication prescribed, meaning he was able to infect others with the virus.
People with HIV who take appropriate medication have an undetectable viral load and cannot infect others.
The court heard that Rowe believed he could cure himself of HIV by drinking his own urine and keeping to a vegan diet.
He frequently used Grindr to meet men, often insisting on unprotected penetrative sex.
In a taped police interview, one victim said: “He asked for sex and I gave him oral sex. He asked for more and I said no, and he started to get angry.
“I was saying: ‘I don’t really want to do it. It’s horrible to do it in a car in the middle of nowhere.’ I was getting angry.
“It was horrible really – I just felt like I had to do it.”
Rowe and the victim then went on to have unprotected anal sex outdoors, which ended when it was interrupted by a passing cyclist.
Rowe subsequently refused to get out of the complainant’s car when he was driven home and tried to bully him into having sex by some bins.
“It felt like an hour with him just going on and on. I felt very vulnerable. I didn’t know anyone around (that area),” the victim said.
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“I was thinking this is all going to happen and I’m going to have to go to work tomorrow and explain a black eye.
“He was telling me: ‘This would all be over if you had just done it when I said and we had just carried on.’”
He was found guilty unanimously of three counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and one of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.
The jury returned majority verdicts of 11 to one on all the other six counts – two of grievous bodily harm with intent, and four of attempting to do so.
Judge Henson adjourned sentencing until January 29, 2018 so a psychiatric report can be prepared.