Daryll Rowe ‘is a paranoid control freak’, says ex

Daryll Rowe is charged with infecting four men with HIV after meeting them on Grindr and attempting to infect another six

A hairdresser accused of deliberately infecting a string of lovers with HIV was a ‘paranoid control freak’ a court was told.

Daryll Rowe, 26, denies infecting four men with the virus and attempting to give it to a further six.

But a former boyfriend claimed Rowe was paranoid and would become aggressive and jealous.

In a video interview, a fourth alleged victim said Rowe would send abusive texts.

He said: ‘Whenever I’d leave or he’d leave he’d get paranoid and send me messages like ‘who is the other guy you’re seeing because you haven’t texted in two hours.’ 

‘It was like he was doing this on purpose so I’d want him. He was making me feel a certain way. He was a control freak and he was good at it.’

Rowe, who is originally from Edinburgh but was living in Brighton at the time, is charged with infecting four men with HIV and of attempting to infect a further six between October 2015 and December 2016.

The hairdresser denies four counts of causing grievous bodily harm and six counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm. 

Lewes Crown Court heard the fourth alleged victim made contact with Rowe on the dating app Tinder.

The pair met up and began to see each other regularly but the alleged victim became concerned about his behaviour.

He said: ‘I have friends with mental health problems. I felt there was something up with him but nothing major.

‘I really liked him. But whenever I spoke too much he made a weird noise. He would so that whenever I was making a point, like he didn’t want to hear it. He was very opinionated, too opinionated.’ 

The pair had sex several times and on one occasion, while having intercourse in the bath, Rowe and the alleged victim injured themselves.

But the alleged victim said he was worried Rowe may have caused the injuries on purpose because he seemed so unconcerned about the incident.

In the video interview he said: ‘I felt concerned he felt really relaxed about it and I honestly felt it was on purpose and then I had initial feelings something wasn’t right.’ 

A short time later the alleged victim began to feel extremely unwell and Rowe began to nurse him.

The hairdresser would give his lover wheatgrass drinks and massage him using reflexology. But when the alleged victim began to feel worse he returned to his parents home in Eastbourne.

He said: ‘I started to get really ill. I was freezing cold and then hot. I lost a stone in a week.’

Just a couple of days later the alleged victim received a text from Rowe suggesting they split up.

The victim said he was ill and texted back: ‘”You really seem to enjoy conflict” and I ended it.”‘.

The victim said: ‘He sent me a text saying “You’ree a psychopath, you’re afraid of your own shadow. Dodged a bullet with that one. I’m out of your league.’ All this nasty stuff. I could not do anything.”‘

The alleged victim said he eventually went for an HIV test after reading a story in the local newspaper which claimed a Scottish man was purposefully infecting others with the virus. He later tested positive. 

The hairdresser denies four counts of causing grievous bodily harm and six counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm 

The hairdresser denies four counts of causing grievous bodily harm and six counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm 

The court was told yesterday how Rowe allegedly told one victim ‘I ripped the condom. Burn. I got you.’ 

He is accused of sending a series of abusive texts after the pair met on Grindr and had sex.   

In the days after they met Rowe called the man and laughed down the phone as he told him he had sabotaged the condom.

The alleged victim claims he was horrified as he had had insisted Rowe wear a condom.

Weeks later he began to suffer from a sore throat, swollen glands and fatigue and later tested positive for HIV. 

Lewes Crown Court heard the US-born victim met and had sex with Rowe in November 2015.

Rowe told the second victim he preferred unprotected sex without a condom, but the man replied: ‘No, I don’t do that,’ the court heard.

Rowe replied: ‘Come on, come on. I’m fine you know you want it,’ the jury were told.

When the alleged victim refused he said: ‘That’s fine I’ll use a condom.’

The alleged victim said he was stunned when he began to receive abusive messages after the liaison.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the second victim said: ‘I didn’t want to hang out with him because he was really aggressive.

‘He was being rude and insulting me. Just calling me ‘Stupid American’.’

The court heard Rowe had lost contact with his doctor after his diagnosis.

He denies the charges

The court heard Rowe had lost contact with his doctor after his diagnosis. He denies charges 

Then he received a series of calls from Rowe who laughed down the phone and told the victim he had ejaculated in him without him knowing.

The alleged victim said: ‘He said ‘I ripped the condom. Burn. I got you.’ and I said: ‘Why would you even say that?’ I was freaking out.’

Earlier the court heard that Rowe had sex with at least 10 men he met on Grindr after being diagnosed as HIV positive.

In each case Rowe either refused to wear a condom or ‘sabotaged’ the contraception before having sex.

Afterwards he would send ‘abusive’ and ‘mocking’ texts to the alleged victims claiming he had HIV.

The 26-year-old sent a text message to one victim saying: ‘Maybe you have the fever coz I came inside you and I have HIV LOL. Whoops!’

Rowe had been diagnosed with HIV while he was still living in Edinburgh in April 2015 after a sexual health clinic contacted him to tell him a former partner was infected.

Doctors found he was ‘coping well’ with his diagnosis but were concerned when he refused vaccination for common illnesses HIV positive patients are susceptible to, such as pneumonia.

They were also worried when he refused antiretroviral drugs to slow the development of the virus and make him less contagious, jurors heard.

The court heard that the four men Rowe is accused of infecting with HIV all had very similar strains to the one Rowe was infected with, making it highly likely that he was the source of the virus. 

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, continues.


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