Alleged victim of hairdresser accused of infecting partners with HIV was AIDS charity volunteer

The trial of Daryll Rowe is taking place at Lews crown court. Picture: Creative Commons
The trial of Daryll Rowe is taking place at Lews crown court. Picture: Creative Commons
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An alleged victim of a hairdresser accused of deliberately infecting his partners with HIV was a volunteer with an AIDS charity who had never had unprotected sex, a court has heard.

Daryll Rowe, 26, originally from Edinburgh, allegedly set out to spread the virus by pressuring his lovers into unprotected sex and claiming he was free of the disease.

Rowe would tamper with the condom if a partner forced him to wear one, Lewes Crown Court heard.

He is charged with five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm in relation to 10 men.

It emerged on Friday that one of the men Rowe allegedly infected volunteered with a charity for those with HIV and AIDS, and was tested every six months for sexually transmitted diseases.

He ensured Rowe put on a condom, but believes that he might have deliberately damaged it or even removed the condom before sex.

In his police interview, the complainant said he and Rowe had met on Grindr and met up for casual sex in December 2015.

He went for an HIV screening when he fell ill around Christmas time with fever, sickness, a sore throat and swollen glands consistent with exposure to the disease.

When he learned he was positive, he said: “This is impossible. I haven’t had any unprotected sex.

“I’ve never felt that way before. It’s like being hit by a bus - you feel like your life is over.”

“You feel like you should go to a high place and jump. That’s how you feel.”

He said that Rowe used his own condom, but couldn’t remember him disposing of it.

“If I had a time machine I would have used my own condoms but it’s too late now,” he said.

“I’m quite sure he put it on. It’s something I always check because some people put it on wrong.”

He said he didn’t know if Rowe removed the condom before sex. When he tracked him down to tell him about his HIV diagnosis, Rowe insisted he had a recent test and that he was clear.

He told the complainant “not to be so dramatic” about his diagnosis. In a series of text messages, Rowe told the alleged victim he wanted to meet up with him for “bareback” sex, despite his HIV status.

He sent him dozens of messages asking for unprotected sex, even though the complainant said he was infectious and did not feel like sex. Rowe kept demanding “raw” sex, and told him he would “rape” him the next time they met.

The messages became so explicit, the alleged victim became concerned Rowe was lying about his HIV status. He said he was also concerned Rowe had detailed knowledge of the disease and its treatments.

When he insisted he was not ready to have sex and was still coming to terms with his diagnosis, Rowe replied: “Moaning and thinking about it all the time won’t help or cure you.”

He added: “If you truly liked me in that way you wouldn’t be making me wait.”

The complainant went to the police after seeing a police appeal for former partners of a young Scottish man deliberately infecting his partners with HIV.

The defendant was living and working in the Brighton area at the time of the first eight alleged offences, before fleeing to the North East while he was under investigation, where he is accused of trying to infect two more men.

The trial continues.