Man jailed for knowingly infecting girlfriend with HIV
A man who knowingly infected his girlfriend with HIV, which she then unwittingly passed onto another man, has been sentenced to at least three years jail for maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm. Zimbabwean-born CM, 44, had unprotected sex with the Sydney woman on five separate occasions during their nine-month relationship in 2002.
Not once did he tell her he was HIV positive, despite being diagnosed eight years before and knowing that he was legally required to disclose the diagnosis to all future sexual partners. “Overall I would classify the impact on my life as a 10 on the scale,” the woman told the court during an emotional victim impacts statement in August. “More than 10 years after the event I’m still trying to cope with the aftershock this preventable disease has created.”
The Downing Centre District Court heard on Friday that, being completely unaware that she was HIV positive, M’s victim then unwittingly infected her new boyfriend with the disease. The court heard that this infection took place after she had been tested by an Eastern Suburbs medical clinic which failed to inform her of the result until months later.
“No victim impact statement is necessary to understand the devastating effects of the offender’s criminal behaviour on the complainant,” Judge Penelope Hock said as she handed down the sentence. “The offender facilitated the spread of HIV, something which has very serious consequences not only for the complainant but for the public more generally.” Judge Hock said M’s actions fell into the high range of objective gravity for the offence, finding that the emotional impact on his victim was “an aggravating factor”.
However, her honour noted that the 44-year-old had shown some contrition and remorse for his actions and found that he had “good prospects of rehabilitation”. He also received a 10 per cent discount for pleading guilty and was found to have “special circumstances” on the grounds that he would benefit from a longer period of supervision, giving he was undertaking his first experience of custody at age 44. Judge Hock sentenced M to a maximum of four-and-a-half years jail with a non-parole period of three years. He will be eligible for release on September 28, 2016.