Hairdresser cut tip of condom then told student he’s ‘riddled’ with HIV, court hears
A man accused of deliberately trying to infect lovers with HIV told one victim he was “riddled” with the virus, a court has heard.
Daryll Rowe, from Edinburgh, is accused of infecting partners he met on Grindr with HIV after allegedly “tampering with the condoms” during sex.
It’s claimed the 26-year-old tried to insist on unprotected sex with his partners, or sabotaged the condom during sex without the partner knowing if they refused.
Giving evidence, a 22-year-old student, who cannot be named, said he met Mr Rowe on a dating app in January 2016.
He told the court via video message that he started “freaking out” after they had sex when he discovered a broken condom in the bathroom after having sex.
The man said: “I remember not really enjoying it. There were moments when I was like, I want to get up and go.
“Afterwards I went to the toilet and the condom was on the sink and I noticed that it… was completely broken. Like the whole top of it was off.”
He subsequently asked Mr Rowe about his HIV status in a series of text messages.
In response Mr Rowe is alleged to have said: “Yes, I’m riddled by the way”.
He then blocked the student’s mobile number.
The man said he was in pain after having sex with Mr Rowe and was later given anti-viral drugs to prevent him contracting HIV as well as treatment for genital herpes.
Mr Rowe denies infecting five Brighton-based men, and attempting to infect a further five.
In a video statement to Lewes Crown Court, another alleged victim said he had been pressured into bareback outdoors sex and feared attack.
Rowe met the complainant on Grindr in October 2015, telling him he had only just moved to the Brighton area and did not know anyone.
Describing their first sexual encounter in a car, the alleged victim said he was frightened of Rowe but believed him when he said he was free of the virus.
In his taped police interview, the alleged 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.
“He wasn’t threatening to punch me, he wasn’t huffing and puffing, but he was saying: ‘You need to if we’re going to be together, I need someone who’s spontaneous.’
“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.”
The pair went on to have unprotected anal sex outdoors, which ended when it was interrupted by a passing cyclist the jury was told.
After the passer-by had gone, Rowe was hoping they’d continue, but the complainant stopped him.
Rowe told him: “You’ve wasted my evening, I can’t believe this. You’re wasting my time.”
Rowe then refused to get out of the complainant’s car when he was driven home and tried to bully him into sex by some bins, the court was told.
“It felt like an hour with him just going on and on. I felt very vulnerable. I didn’t know anyone around (that area),” he said.
He said he believed Rowe was about to attack him: “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.’”
The complainant said he managed to get out of the situation by promising to meet Rowe a few days later.
“Then he did get out of the car and I cried all the way home,” he said.
When he refused to meet Rowe again, he received abusive text messages including one saying: “You’ve got an ugly weird face.”
Later Rowe texted the alleged victim telling him: “Maybe you have the fever… I have HIV LOL.”
The alleged victim was diagnosed as positive in January 2016.
The court was previously told that he later sent mocking text messages, with 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 another partner, who had insisted he use a condom, Rowe allegedly said: “I ripped the condom. You’re so stupid. You didn’t even know.”
Rowe is charged with infecting four men with the virus and attempting to infect a further six between October 2015 and December 2016.
Rowe denies all the charges against him.
Prosecuting, Caroline Carberry QC described his alleged crimes as “a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with HIV”.
Doctors said Rowe coped well with the diagnosis, but became concerned when he refused antiretroviral drugs that can make those infected person 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,” Carberry told the court, according to The Guardian.
“He told his doctors he was not going to engage in any unprotected sex again, but failed to attend further appointments in Edinburgh and by this time he had moved to Brighton.
“He had no obvious family or other connections in the area, although he had been in communication online on a dating app, Grindr, with a number of men.
“Through Grindr, the prosecution say, he was in contact with men that he would later go on to infect or attempt to affect with HIV.”
All alleged victims in the case have been granted anonymity.
The trial continues and is expected to last into November.
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