Trial of HIV hairdresser Daryll Rowe exposed true Jekyll and Hyde character

Daryll Rowe who pled guilty today in Edinburgh High Court
Daryll Rowe who pled guilty today in Edinburgh High Court

Daryll Rowe is a real-life Jekyll and Hyde character.

He came across as an obliging, softly spoken “vegan hippy” who was looking for love and a relationship with the men he charmed.

But he was exposed at his trial as a “nasty, angry individual” who embarked on a “cynical” and “deliberate” campaign to infect male lovers with HIV.

Originally from Edinburgh, he was taken into care at a young age and fostered from the age of seven. He left school after taking his GCSEs and trained as a hairdresser at college.

He came out as gay at the age of 15, in the same year he experienced his first sexual encounter.

He travelled to Australia for a year to visit his brothers in Perth before moving back to Edinburgh to work.

READ MORE: Edinburgh hairdresser Daryll Rowe pleads guilty to infecting victims with HIV

During his trial in England, Rowe said he had learned to cope with panic attacks and anxiety through meditation. He practised yoga and took a keen interest in healthy living.

He became a vegan after turning vegetarian at the age of 18 and said he chose to move to Brighton because of its gay and vegan-friendly atmosphere.

He described himself as “very spiritual” and living by the mantra of “love, life and positivity”.

He loved star signs, likening himself with characteristics of his Libra symbol of being “relationship orientated”, artistic, creative and balanced.

When he was diagnosed with HIV in April 2015, he claimed in court he coped well with the news and did not feel anger towards whoever had infected him.

After reading articles about the practice online, he tried urine therapy in a bid to rid himself of the illness.

This eventually saw him drinking his own urine every morning and regularly throughout the day, he claimed.

READ MORE: Ex lover brands HIV hairdresser Daryll Rowe ‘menace to society’

This was supplemented with a whole range of natural remedies, oregano, coconut and olive leaf oils, which were reported online as also helping to combat HIV, he said.

He professed to truly believing he had been cured of the virus by the time he moved to Brighton, even though he had not taken any medical tests to back this up or had any confirmation of this from a doctor.

As the trial progressed, the prosecution slowly stripped away his apparently unassuming persona, branding him a cruel and calculating liar.

He denied any memory of doctors warning him of the dangers of carrying the virus, how infectious he was, or the legal implications of infecting others.

He did not take blood tests after his diagnosis to find out how infectious he was and did not read literature he was given warning him to learn more about the virus.

He said he refused to take anti-retroviral drugs recommended by doctors because he did not trust them and he was unsure how the treatment would affect his body.

But he admitted taking prescribed medication in the year before he was diagnosed, after contracting gonorrhoea, genital warts and herpes.

He admitted the treatment helped but insisted the warts were only cured after he used apple cider vinegar in addition.

READ MORE: Key events that brought HIV hairdresser Daryll Rowe to justice

He was described as vain as the case picked apart his claims of living a natural lifestyle, when it emerged he would use fillers to plump up his top lip.

He said he was told this was a synthetic version of acid naturally found in the body so he was comfortable with having the injections.

Rowe described Grindr as a gay dating app he used to look for relationships and companionship rather than casual sex.

He claimed to be looking for like-minded people who shared his interests of Marvel comics, Pokemon and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and wanted to avoid men who were heavy drinkers or “on the scene” regularly at gay clubs.

And yet he sent a string of “horrible” and “cruel” text messages to several of his victims once they had been romantically involved and had been “playing” with them when they became concerned and questioned his HIV status.

He explained this by saying he struggled to keep his emotions in check and did not torment them intentionally.

He said he found it hard to cope with rejection, especially after a previous partner cheated on him.

He even accused his victims of lying when they told police and jury he had said he was free of the virus before they had sex.

** All of the above was from the trial of Rowe in England when he was sentenced in April**