HIV accused ‘told victim he was paranoid’

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

A HAIRDRESSER accused of deliberately infecting male lovers with HIV told a concerned alleged victim he was “overdramatic” and “paranoid” when asked if he had the virus, a court heard.

Daryll Rowe, originally from Edinburgh, sent a series of “aggressive” texts to the 22-year-old university student after a broken condom was found when they finished having sex, jurors at Lewes Crown Court were told on Tuesday.

The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, contacted police after seeing a witness appeal for information about a man he thought was Rowe.

He told officers the pair met in Brighton, East Sussex, in January last year after speaking on gay dating app Grindr.

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In a video recording of a police interview shown to the jury, the man told Detective Constable Sarah Townsend he was in pain after having sex with Rowe and was later given anti-viral drugs to prevent him contracting HIV as well as treatment for genital herpes.

During the interview, the man said: “I remember not really enjoying it. There were moments when I was like, I wanna get up and go.

“[Afterwards] I went to the toilet and the condom was on the sink and I noticed that it had, like, it was completely broken. Like the whole top of it was off. At the time I didn’t see him put it on.

“Because I had seen it broken I was kind of freaking out a bit.”

The man said he was becoming concerned so contacted Rowe by text.

In a series of messages read to the court, the man repeatedly pleaded for Rowe to give him an honest answer to confirm he had been tested and did not have HIV.

In response Rowe is alleged to have said: “And yes I’m riddled by the way” and called the man a “dramatic, paranoid fool that’s easily wound up”.

Later he branded the man an “idiot” and “paranoid, overdramatic”, before saying he would be blocking the number, the court heard.

Rowe, now of no fixed abode, denies allegations lodged by 10 men that he deliberately set out to infect them with HIV.

The 26-year-old originally appeared in court facing four charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and six of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

But one of the charges has since been amended so he is now facing five counts of each charge.

The trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.