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HIV-positive hairdresser allegedly cut tips off condoms to infect his Grindr dates
A hairdresser deliberately infected at least four men with HIV after meeting them on gay dating app Grindr — before sending them mocking messages, a court heard.
Daryll Rowe, 26, from Edinburgh, Scotland, is accused of embarking on a “cynical campaign” to infect as many men as he could with the virus.
He texted one of his alleged victims: “Maybe you have the fever cos I came inside you and I have HIV, lol. Whoops!”
The court heard Rowe also called one of his victims and laughed over the phone as he goaded the man about his potential diagnosis.
The victim later tested positive for HIV, with a strain of the virus similar to Rowe’s.
Another man Rowe had sex with said he used a condom, but found it discarded in the sink with the end ripped off.
Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting, told Lewes Crown Court: “He was extremely concerned and upset about this and repeatedly asked Daryll Rowe whether he was clean, which he said he was. That condom did not split accidentally.”
Another alleged victim discovered he had the virus after feeling “feverish and ill.”
Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in Edinburgh in April 2015.
Later that year, he moved to Brighton.
“With full knowledge, putting others at risk, he embarked on what was a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus.
“Unfortunately for some of the men he met, his campaign was successful.
“He had numerous, casual sexual relationships with men he met via Grindr.
“He deceived each of those men into believing he was HIV-negative.
“He reassured the men he was clean and when they insisted on a condom, he deliberately sabotaged the condom.
“Many of them were sent abusive and mocking messages.”
Carberry told the jury that Rowe met eight men in Sussex and two more in the northeast.
“At least four have contracted the virus, others were lucky not to,” she said.
“In all cases, it was his intention to infect those men with HIV.”
Sussex police arrested Rowe in February 2016 after two men were diagnosed as HIV-positive.
He refused to admit being HIV-positive and denied meting with or having sex with the two men.
Rowe was bailed to an address in Berwick, Northumberland.
He was interviewed again when other alleged victims came forward. After being re-bailed, Rowe went missing and police launched a manhunt to find him.
He was discovered living in Wallsend — some 350 miles north of Sussex — under a fake name.
The case, which is due to last six weeks, continues.