12-and-a-half year sentence for recklessly infecting women with HIV
A former pimp who recklessly infected three women with HIV has been given a 12-and-a-half year sentence.
Sending J.R. to prison, Bristol judge William Hart told the 61-year-old: “What you did was in my judgement unforgivable. Indeed, your appalling criminal record is a litany of disregard for the interests and wellbeing of other people. You have brought misery to so many over the 60 years of your life.”
R. was sentenced to eight years imprisonment, of which he must serve at least two thirds behind bars, and an extended licence period of four and a half years.
The sentence will be served concurrently to the five year jail term he is currently serving for breaching a sexual risk order.
Prosecutor Charles Thomas told Bristol Crown Court this morning detectives launched an investigation in 2017 after a complaint from one woman who had tested positive for HIV in 2015 after having unprotected sexual intercourse with R..
He had been diagnosed with HIV in 2013 and was said by his GP at Freshbrook Surgery in west Swindon to have been surprised at hearing he had tested positive for the virus.
Medical professionals reported he was reluctant to tell them how many people he had slept with and repeatedly claimed – wrongly – that he had not had sex for a decade.
The man was said to have only sporadically been taking medication intended to reduce the chances of him infecting others.
And police found R. had engaged in unprotected sex with numerous women over several years without informing them of his condition or taking essential medication.
More than 50 women were approached by officers and health professionals. Analysis by experts at the University of Oxford revealed that at least three women had contracted HIV having had unprotected sex with him.
The three women whose cases were put before the courts had had sex with R. in 2015 and 2016. Two had known the man since they were in their early teens.
One of the women, referred to in court as P, told Bristol Crown Court Rodney had taken away her right to choose.
She said: “The sad thing is this all could have been prevented. This did not need to happen to me and the other ladies affected, to our families and our children and their children. We are all paying the price due to the one person’s lack of responsibility to himself and for another human being.”
The woman said she had been shunned by her family and spoke of the stigma of her diagnosis. She had made a number of attempts on her life.
The medication she was taking in order to treat the virus caused her hair, which she prized and had not cut since childhood, to fall out in clumps. It resulted in sickness akin to that suffered by those undergoing chemotherapy.
“I felt like I was dying. I started to pray to God that I would die, because the pain and sickness was so intense,” she said.
In January, R. admitted three counts of causing grievous bodily harm.
The defendant, formerly of Luddesdown Road, Toothill, appeared before Bristol Crown Court via prison video link. He is already serving a five year sentence imposed in 2018 after he breached a sexual risk order banning him from paying for sex and admitted an unrelated drugs matter.
Peter Binder, defending, said his client had suffered from poor mental and physical health. While this was not an excuse for his behaviour, it explained the background to his offending.
He had told prison staff of feeling suicidal, that he did not see a reason to take his medication and that he did not have anything to live for.
R. has a poor criminal record, appearing before the courts on 29 previous occasions for offences including wounding with intent, drug supply and pimping.
HIV infection case sentencing delayed by court technical problems
Technical problems hampered the sentencing of thug J.R., who recklessly infected three women with HIV.
The Bristol Crown Court hearing had to be adjourned by Judge William Hart as the former pimp’s barrister could not be heard over the Skype link and the man’s victims, listening in from Swindon Crown Court, were plagued by feedback from the courtroom speakers.
One of R’s victims had hoped to read aloud a statement detailing the affect his crimes had had on her.
Putting the case back to a date to be fixed, Judge Hart said: “I’m sorry to everyone for the technological difficulties.”
He told the court it was not the first time there had been problems with the Skype hearings, which have become a common feature in the courts since the coronavirus lockdown began.
R., 60, formerly of Luddesodwn Road, Toothill, was due to be sentenced for three counts of causing grievous bodily harm.
In January, he admitted recklessly infecting three women with HIV. It followed a three-year investigation by Wiltshire Police launched in June 2017 when a woman came forward claiming to have been diagnosed with the virus after having sex with R., who had not told her he was HIV positive.
Detectives and public health officials tracked down more than 50 women believed to have had contact with the Swindon man. Three women were found to have been infected with HIV and analysis by a University of Oxford lab pointed to it being the same strain of the virus shared by R.
Swindon man who infected 3 women with HIV will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court today
A Toothill man is due before the courts this afternoon to be sentenced for recklessly inflicting three women with HIV.
John Rodney, 60, of Luddesdown Road, pleaded guilty in January to three counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Detectives launched an investigation in 2017 after a complaint from one woman who had contracted HIV after having unprotected sexual intercourse with Rodney.
Police found Rodney had been aware of his HIV status and had engaged in unprotected sex with numerous women over several years without informing them of his condition, or taking essential medication.
More than 50 women were approached by officers and health professionals. Police found at least three women had contracted HIV having had unprotected sex with him.
He is expected to appear before Bristol Crown Court this afternoon via video link from prison. He will be sentenced by Judge William Hart.
Swindon man pleads guilty to recklessly infecting three women with HIV
A Swindon man has today pleaded guilty to recklessly infecting three women with HIV.
J.R, 60, previously of Toothill, appeared at Bristol Crown Court today. He is due to be sentenced on Friday March 6.
Wiltshire Police commenced an investigation back in 2017 following a complaint by a woman who had contracted HIV after unprotected sexual intercourse with J.R..
During our investigation, it transpired that R. had been aware of his HIV status and had engaged in unprotected sex with numerous women over several years without informing them of his condition, or taking essential medication.
As part of our investigation, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, Great Western Hospital and Public Health England, over 50 women were approached by officers and health professionals and spoken to about R.. Through these enquiries we were able to establish that at least three women had contracted HIV after having unprotected sex with R.
Det Insp Helen Jacobs said: “This has been an extremely complex investigation which has required close partnership working with our health colleagues in Swindon to determine the full extent of J.R.’s offending and the potential implications on the health of those living in Swindon.
“I am pleased, for the victims, that R. has now pleaded guilty.”
Sentencing on March 6 will take place in Bristol Crown Court.
A Toothill man denies infecting three women with sexually transmitted infection HIV
J.R. faces three counts of causing grievous bodily harm by infecting another with a sexually transmitted infection.
The 60-year-old, formerly of Luddesdown Road, is HIV positive. It is said he infected three women with the virus between 2015 and 2017.
Appearing before Swindon Crown Court via video link from HMP Channings Wood, J.R. spoke only to confirm his name and his not guilty pleas.
Remanding him in custody for the trial on March 16 at Swindon Crown Court, Judge Peter Crabtree told him to keep in touch with his lawyers.
The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.
Charles Thomas appeared for the prosecution. J.R. was represented by Peter Binder.