A jury found Daryll Rowe guilty of deliberately infecting his Grindr dates with HIV at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday (15 November).
Rowe’s trial began at the beginning of October. The court and jury heard that Rowe, 26, a hairdresser from Edinburgh, met men on Grindr and then sabotaged condoms.
Prosecutors described Rowe’s actions as ‘a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with HIV’.
According to reports, he began doing this after finding out in April 2015 that he contracted HIV from an ex-boyfriend.
The jury found Rowe guilty of five counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) and five counts of attempted GBH. He infected at least five people after attempting to infect at least 10.
Pressured into bareback sex
Other victims allege Rowe pressured them into completely foregoing a condom and having bareback sex.
Following the encounters, Rowe sent the men crude text messages.
One text read: ‘Maybe you have the fever cos I came inside you and I have HIV, lol. Whoops!’
In another instance, he revealed his HIV status and admitted to the man he ripped the condom. He also called the victim ‘stupid’ for not knowing.
The incidents occurred from October 2015 to January 2016 in Brighton and the North East.
Rowe denied being HIV positive and insisted someone was framing him.
During the trial, Judge Christine Hensen granted the victims lifelong anonymity and gave them the option of testifying behind a screen.
A welcome verdict
Rowe now faces a lengthy sentence.
‘The verdict today is very welcome,’ said Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme, of Sussex Police. ‘It will bring some closure to the victims who have been very strong and supportive through the investigation.’
He finished: ‘The victims have demonstrated real strength of character in speaking out about this, and because of this strength and the hard work of the detectives, staff and partners working on the case, a dangerous man, who betrayed the trust of many men, will now be imprisoned.’