Daryll Rowe, 26, pictured arriving at Lewes Crown Court where he is on trial
A hairdresser accused of deliberately infecting a string of lovers with HIV told a nurse he may have done ‘stupid things’ because he was in denial over his own diagnosis, a court heard.
Daryll Rowe, 26, allegedly had sex with at least 10 men he met on Grindr after being diagnosed as HIV positive, and either refused to wear a condom or ‘sabotaged’ the contraception.
Rowe, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2015, is charged with infecting five men with HIV and attempting to infect a further five with the virus.
Lewes Crown Court heard how Rowe called one victim a ‘gay drama queen’ and told him to enjoy being ‘riddled with disease,’ after they had sex.
The hairdresser, who is originally from Edinburgh but was living in Brighton at the time, denies all the charges which relate to incidents between October 2015 and December 2016.
In an interview with a specialist HIV nurse in Edinburgh he told her he may have done ‘stupid things’ because he was in denial about his own HIV diagnosis.
Caroline Carberry, prosecuting, said Rowe attended the Chalmers Centre, a specialist sexual health clinic in Edinburgh, while on bail after his arrest.
The court heard he was seen by specialist HIV nurse Laura Ellis, who works as an HIV specialist.
Rowe, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2015, is charged with infecting five men with HIV and attempting to infect a further five with the virus
Miss Carberry asked the nurse: ‘Daryll said he feels he was stupid and thinks he did a lot of the things he did because he was in denial about having HIV?’
Miss Ellis replied: ‘Yes.’
Earlier the court was played a video of a police interview filmed after his arrest where he denies having the virus.
He also told police he may be the victim of a malicious set-up by someone who disliked him.
He said someone may have stolen his photos off the gay dating app Grindr, to set him up as part of a ‘big, dramatic lie.’
Earlier the court heard 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.
After sex he would send ‘abusive and mocking’ texts to the alleged victims claiming he had HIV, Lewes Crown Court heard.
The 26-year-old allegedly sent a text message to one victim saying: ‘Maybe you have the fever coz I came inside you and I have HIV LOL. Whoops!’ and told another: ‘I ripped the condom. Burn. I got you.’
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 anti-retroviral drugs to slow the development of the virus and make him less contagious, jurors heard.
The court heard that the five men Rowe is accused of infecting with HIV all had 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 due to last six weeks, continues.
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