A UK jury has convicted hairdresser Daryll Rowe, 27, of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and a further five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm for willfully infecting Grindr dates with HIV after damaging condoms.
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The court heard that Rowe repeatedly sabotaged condoms, and then mocked victims saying that he was “riddled” with the virus after they raised concerns. One man said that Rowe was “laughing” when he called, adding: “Burn. I got you.”
Rowe was first arrested in February 2016, but denied that he was HIV positive in his first police interview. The police put out a public health warning, asking men who had had sex with a man matching Rowe’s description to contact the authorities.
Rowe then went on the run in November 2016, targeting two more men in the north-east while using a fake name. When he was finally arrested, he was found with a rucksack of sabotaged condoms.
During his first interview with police, Rowe reportedly told them: “Either this is a big, dramatic lie or someone out there has actually done this. What if they are just trying to single me out. Gay people can be horrible. This is one of the reasons I left Edinburgh – there’s a lot of horrible people up there.”
Rowe will be sentenced on January 29.