Man in HIV case probed over al­leged sex as­sault

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Ali Bracken Crime Cor­re­spon­dent

A MAN con­victed of de­lib­er­ately in­fect­ing two women with HIV is cur­rently un­der Garda in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter his ar­rest for an al­leged sep­a­rate se­ri­ous sex­ual as­sault on a Kenyan woman in south Dublin in March.

The DPP is cur­rently de­lib­er­at­ing whether the man should face more crim­i­nal charges over the al­leged in­ci­dent, the Ir­ish Daily Mail can re­veal.

The al­leged as­sault took place on March 16 at a house in the Rath­mines area.

The African na­tional was ar­rested in the af­ter­math of the al­leged at­tack.

The woman is cur­rently go­ing through a med­i­cal process that will de­ter­mine if she was in­fected with HIV.

The sus­pect was re­leased with­out charge af­ter be­ing ques­tioned over the al­leged as­sault fol­low­ing a com­plaint that was made by the woman within hours of the al­leged in­ci­dent.

A file was then pre­pared for the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions.

The DPP has yet to di­rect in­ves­ti­gat­ing gar­daí whether the sus­pect should be charged over the of­fence.

On Thurs­day, the 28-year-old man was con­victed of caus­ing se­ri­ous harm to two for­mer part­ners by in­fect­ing them with HIV.

In the first case of its kind in this coun­try, the State al­leged that the 28-year-old was aware of his di­ag­no­sis when he in­fected the women and that this amounted to se­ri­ous harm.

The man, who lives in Dublin, can­not be named to pro­tect the iden­ti­ties of the com­plainants in the case.

He had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Cir­cuit Crim­i­nal Court to in­ten­tion­ally or reck­lessly caus­ing se­ri­ous harm to the two women on dates be­tween Novem­ber 2009 and June 2010.

Judge Martin Nolan re­fused a de­fence ap­pli­ca­tion for bail.

He said there was some risk of the man flee­ing and that a cus­to­dial sen­tence was quite likely.

The max­i­mum penalty for the of­fence is life im­pris­on­ment.

The judge re­manded the man in cus­tody to ap­pear again in court on July 26 for sen­tenc­ing.

He thanked the jury for car­ry­ing out its duty and said the case had been a pretty dif­fi­cult one with an un­usual type of ev­i­dence.

In his clos­ing speech to the jury last Tues­day, pros­e­cu­tion coun­sel Do­minic McGinn SC sub­mit­ted that ex­pert wit­nesses had said all three par­ties had the same sub­type and mu­ta­tions of the virus.

Mr McGinn said that the com­plainants had ‘re­mark­ably sim­i­lar’ ac­counts and that they used con­doms with pre­vi­ous part­ners.

He re­minded the jury that it had heard con­doms, ‘if used cor­rectly, ef­fec­tively stop trans­mis­sion’ and that oral sex does not lead to in­fec­tion.

Mr McGinn said there was no ev­i­dence that any of the com­plainants’ pre­vi­ous part­ners were HIV pos­i­tive.

He told the jury the man lied to the com­plainants’ doc­tor about his pos­i­tive di­ag­no­sis and ‘went through the cha­rade’ of be­ing tested again for the virus in 2010.

‘He knew full well he was HIV pos­i­tive,’ Mr McGinn said.

‘He was ad­vised about hav­ing safe sex. He ad­mit­ted that to gar­daí and he was given an­tivi­ral med­i­ca­tion and he didn’t take it.’

Mr McGinn told the jury that the ac­cused was guilty on both charges against him be­cause he had acted reck­lessly and caused se­ri­ous harm to the com­plainants.

Dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion for bail, Garda Sergeant Mark Wa­ters said he was ob­ject­ing to bail on the ba­sis that the man now posed a flight risk.

He said that he has a num­ber of chil­dren here, and that their moth­ers have said he does see them.

De­fence coun­sel Paul Greene SC sub­mit­ted that his client was not a flight risk, was res­i­dent here since 2008, had a real in­ter­est in stay­ing here and was still in the process of seek­ing asy­lum.

He said the man was on com­bi­na­tion med­i­ca­tion ther­apy here to treat his virus.

Coun­sel said the man, who may also have a child in the UK, had in­structed him that his chil­dren here were im­por­tant to him.

File pre­pared for the DPP

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