Hairdresser accused of HIV infection told victim ‘moaning about it’ won’t cure him

Daryll Rowe is on trial at Lewes Crown Court. Picture: Wikimedia Commons
Daryll Rowe is on trial at Lewes Crown Court. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

A hairdresser told a man who contracted HIV after they had sex that “moaning about it” would not cure him, a court heard.

The alleged victim texted Daryll Rowe, who is originally from Edinburgh, in January last year to tell him he had been diagnosed with the virus after they met in Brighton, East Sussex, and slept together using a condom.

Rowe responded by saying: “Moaning about it and thinking about it all the time won’t cure you,” Lewes Crown Court heard on Friday.

The 27-year-old is on trial facing allegations he deliberately tried to infect 10 men with the virus by having unprotected sex or by tampering with condoms.

As his cross-examination continued on Friday, Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting, said: “You knew you had infected him.

“You were behaving in this emotional way to make him feel bad about making you feel bad.”

Rowe responded: “It’s a text message.”

Ms Carberry told the court the alleged victim, who was older and a professional, was “playing detective” to try and get the truth.

Rowe said: “The way he was texting, it was like he was trying to get information out of me and I didn’t feel comfortable.”

Ms Carberry responded: “You did not feel comfortable because you knew he was on to you.”

“No,” Rowe replied.

The court heard when Rowe learned of the man’s positive diagnosis, he continued to ask to meet him for sex.

Ms Carberry said: “You were really persistent. We don’t need to look at the number of times that you tell him you want to have sex with him. But it went into the double figures.”

Rowe told the man over text that if he took antiretroviral drugs it would make him less infectious and they could have unprotected sex, jurors were told.

Ms Carberry asked why he did not tell the man that drinking his own urine would cure him, as he claimed to believe. The court previously heard Rowe refused antiretroviral medication because he read online that urine therapy would cure him.

After a long pause he said: “I was embarrassed,” later adding: “I thought it would put him off me.”

Rowe repeatedly shook his head while on the stand, answering at times with a forceful “no”, and saying he had already answered certain points and was having to repeat himself.

Judge Christine Henson QC reminded him to speak clearly as the proceedings were being recorded, because he had “developed a habit” of nodding and shaking his head in response, rather than speaking.

Rowe, originally from Edinburgh and now of no fixed address, denies 10 charges - five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempting to do so.

The trial continues.