Hairdresser accused of infecting lovers ‘bombarded victim with messages’

Lewes Crown Court
Lewes Crown Court

A hairdresser accused of deliberately infecting his lover with HIV told one of them “I got you” after they had sex, a court has heard.

Daryll Rowe, 26 and originally from Edinburgh, allegedly bombarded his second victim with messages and calls after they met up and slept together through gay dating app Grindr.

During one call the defendant said to the complainant, “I ripped the condom. Burn. I got you”, the jury at Lewes Crown Court was told.

Rowe is accused of demanding unprotected sex with his partners, claiming to be free of the virus, or of tampering with the condom when they insisted he used one.

Rowe denies infecting four men with the virus and attempting to infect a further six between October 2015 and December 2016.

The scond complainant, an American, told how the pair exchanged explicit images on Grindr on November 13,2015, as he gave evidence from behind a screen.

Rowe told him he wanted “bareback sex” - intercourse without a condom - but the complainant said “that’s not what I do”, the court heard.

When they later met at the complainant’s home, Rowe tried to penetrate hom while not wearing a condom and he was forced to push him off and make him put one on.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said: “You told the police that he said, ‘Come on, come on, I’m fine, you know you want it’.”

The complainant replied: “Yes he did.”

Ms Carberry said: “And what did you take ‘I’m fine’ to mean?”

He said: “That he was clean. That he had no diseases.”

Following their encounter, the complainant said he blocked Rowe on messaging platforms after he sent him a stream of aggressive messages.

But on November 17, Rowe began repeatedly calling him, the court heard.

He allegedly told the complainant: “You think you can block me” and “I ripped the condom off. Burn. I got you”.

Giving evidence, the alleged victim said: “I basically said to him ‘why would you say something like that?’

“That’s a really crazy thing to say to somebody, and then I just got worried so I wanted to listen to what he had to say and that was it. It was just panic. Worry.”

Asked about the tone of Rowe’s voice, he said: “He was kind of laughing.”

He said he did not initially believe Rowe, but a few months later became unwell and tested positive for HIV.

The court has previously heard that Rowe’s first alleged victim received a message which read: “Maybe you have the fever...I have HIV LOL. Oops!”

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.

Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in April 2015 while he was still living in Edinburgh after a sexual health clinic contacted him to tell him a former partner was infected, the court has heard.

Doctors found he was “coping well” with the diagnosis but were worried when he refused antiretroviral drugs to slow development of the virus and make him less contagious.

The court has heard that the four men Rowe is accused of infecting with HIV had very similar strains to the defendant, making it highly likely he was the source of the virus.

The trial continues.