Edinburgh man found guilty of infecting lovers with HIV
Hairdresser was diagnosed with virus but refused treatment from the NHS He planned 'revenge..
- Hairdresser was diagnosed with virus but refused treatment from the NHS
- He planned 'revenge' campaign and tried to infect as many men as possible
- Today he was convicted of of five counts of GBH and five of attempted GBH
- Police have hailed the unusual prosecution as the first of its kind in Britain
By Jaya Narain and Richard Spillett for MailOnline
Published: 11:03 EST, 15 November 2017 | Updated: 11:56 EST, 15 November 2017
Daryll Rowe has been convicted of GBH for deliberately infecting men with HIV through unprotected sex and by sabotaging condoms
A hairdresser faces a lengthy jail term for trying to infect as many men as possible with HIV in a 'revenge' campaign after he was diagnosed with the disease.
Daryll Rowe, originally from Edinburgh, infected five men from the Brighton area and North East with HIV while five others narrowly escaped contracting the life-changing virus.
He was found guilty of five counts of causing grievous bodily harm and five of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm today.
The extent of his malicious scheme to take 'revenge' on the gay community following his diagnosis was laid bare in a six-week trial.
Police have hailed the prosecution as the first of its kind.
Lewes Crown Court has heard Rowe had hatched the plan almost the moment he received the news in April 2015 that he had contracted HIV from his previous boyfriend.
He attended an appointment at the Chalmers Sexual Health Clinic in Edinburgh where Dr Sally Weilding explained the treatment and medications available.
She also told him how to protect sexual partners from the virus and counselled him on safe sex.
But staff were stunned when Rowe, a vegan and health fanatic, informed them he did not want to take anti-retroviral drugs.
When caught and interviewed by police, he denied he had HIV and thought he was clear
He then failed to attend further follow-up appointments at the clinic in September and October, 2015 because he had already moved to Brighton to embark on his plan.
Although he initially had nowhere to live or stay, he began to make contact with men on the gay dating app, Grindr.
Rowe would exchange a series of messages with the men before meeting up with them at their homes where they would have sex.
Speaking after his convictions today, Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme said: 'This trial is the first time that a person has been charged and convicted of deliberately infecting others with HIV in the country.
'The verdict today is very welcome. It will bring some closure to the victims who have been very strong and supportive through the investigation.
'By bravely giving evidence in the trial, it sends a clear message that despite the complex and highly sensitive nature of such a case, the police and prosecutors will not shy away from investigating allegations of deliberate HIV transmission in order to keep people safe.
Rowe met the men on gay dating app Grindr and sent taunting messages after hooking up
Rowe's first victim picked up the hairdresser in his car and they had unprotected sex. But when the man panicked and refused to continue Rowe became extremely hostile.
The man said he feared for his safety as Rowe became furious and accused him of 'wasting his evening'.
The victim told the court: 'He wouldn't leave. It felt like an hour of him going on and on. I thought he was so angry he was going to throw a brick at my car.
'I thought I'd have to go back to work and explain a black eye or something. He was really angry. He got out of the car. I cried all the way home.'
Shocked by his behaviour, the victim refused to meet Rowe again which led the hairdresser to send a series of abusive texts taunting him.
In one he said: 'Maybe you have the fever. I came inside you and I have HIV LOL. Oops!'
Rowe refused NHS treatment for the virus and instead hatched a 'revenge' campaign
Weeks later the first victim began to develop flu-like symptoms and was later diagnosed as HIV positive.
Dock officers sacked for falling asleep and snoring during trial
Two dock officers have been sacked for falling asleep during Daryll Rowe's trial.
They were removed from court proceedings after being reported for snoring.
Investigations were launched by the Ministry of Justice and security firm GEOAmey after complaints were made.
A GEOAmey spokesman said: 'Clearly the behaviour of the two GEOAmey officers involved was unacceptable and not representative of the hard work and high professional standards of their colleagues.
'We conducted an internal investigation into the circumstances and after full consideration of the facts we took the correct, but nonetheless regrettable, decision to dismiss the officers.
'We now consider this matter closed.'
Rowe's second Grindr victim insisted on safe sex with a condom. The US-born man had to forcefully push Rowe off of him on more than one occasion when he tried to have sex without protection.
Rowe quickly devised an alternative plan and as he put on the condom in the dark bedroom he ripped off the end before the pair had intercourse.
Days later, Rowe began taunting and abusing the man by text message and told him: 'I ripped the condom. Burn. I got you.'
Alive to the possibility men could insist on safe sex, Rowe decided to leave nothing to chance.
He bought his own condoms and 'sabotaged' them so his victims wouldn't notice the damage and he could continue to spread the virus.
A pattern was set. If a victim refused to agree to unprotected sex he could simply reach for one of his carefully torn condoms, hoodwinking his unsuspecting victim into thinking he was having safe sex.
Caroline Carberry QC told Lewes Crown Court: 'Daryll Rowe embarked on a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with HIV, having high risk sexual intercourse knowing he was highly infectious.
'Unfortunately for many of the men he met his campaign was successful. He deceived those men into believing he was HIV negative, reassuring those he was intimate with.'
Rowe met his victims of the 'hook up app' Grindr, a dating app for gay and bisexual men
Rowe's malicious crusade to infect as many men as possible was discovered after victims began to fall ill and went to police.
Fearing there was a lone suspect attempting to spread HIV to as many men as possible, a public health warning was issued.
When the first two men were diagnosed with HIV, police swooped and arrested Rowe who subsequently denied having HIV and claimed he had never met the men concerned.
Between February and April a number of other men came forward after reading about the warning in the local press.
Rowe was released and bailed to the address of a relative in North Berwick, near Edinburgh but he absconded and continued his plan, having sex with two further men before eventually being apprehended.
Timeline of infected hairdresser's twisted 'revenge' campaign
April 2015 – Daryll Rowe is diagnosed with HIV.
October 2015 – The 26-year-old moves to Brighton, East Sussex, after speaking to men who live in the city on gay dating app Grindr.
October 2015 to February 2016 – Rowe meets and has sex with eight different men in Brighton.
Rowe went on the run and tried to infect more men after he was caught by police
February 5 2016 – Sussex Police arrest and question the hairdresser in Brighton when sexual health clinic staff raise concerns after two patients contracting HIV provide similar descriptions of the person they had sex with. Rowe denies being HIV positive or knowing the two men. He is released on bail until April and told to stay out of Sussex.
February 23 2016 – Police and health officials publish a warning, urging gay men in Brighton and Hove to get tested if they had sex with a 'a man in his 20s with a Scottish accent'. Another victim comes forward.
May 2016 – Officers question Rowe again when he answers bail in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland. By this time they have his medical records and know he has lied about being HIV positive. He is re-bailed twice until November.
November 2016 – Rowe goes on the run. Sussex and Northumbria police forces launch a manhunt. He is found at the home of another man in the Wallsend, North Tyneside, and is arrested. Officers are handed his rucksack which is found to contain condoms which were tampered with before being placed back into the packet. Rowe is remanded in custody.
December 2016 – Police charge Rowe with seven counts of causing grievous bodily harm and one count of attempting to do so. He appears in custody at Newcastle Crown Court on Boxing Day and the case is transferred to Lewes Crown Court.
February 2017 – Rowe denies the charges, which are amended several times over the coming months as more victims come forward and their HIV status changes.
October 2017 – By the time Rowe stands trial he faces allegations from 10 men. During the proceedings the indictment is amended for a final time, to reflect five charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.
November 2017 – Rowe is convicted of all ten charges by the jury panel of seven women and five men.
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Why Australia decided to quit its vaping habit
He’s talking about students in his class, teenagers, who can’t stop vaping.
He sees the effect of the candy-flavoured, nicotine-packed e-cigarettes on young minds every day, with children even vaping in class.
“The ones who are deepest into it will just get up out of their seat, or they’ll be fidgeting or nervous. The worst offenders will just walk out because they’re literally in withdrawal.”
Those who are most addicted need nicotine patches or rehabilitation, he says, talking about 13 and 14-year-olds.
is enough and introduced a range of new restrictions. Despite vapes already being illegal for many, under new legislation they will become available by prescription only.
The number of vaping teenagers in Australia has soared in recent years and authorities say it is the “number one behavioural issue” in schools across the country.
And they blame disposable vapes – which some experts say could be more addictive than heroin and cocaine – but for now are available in Australia in every convenience store, next to the chocolate bars at the counter.
For concerned teachers like Chris, their hands have been tied.
“If we suspect they have a vape, all we can really do is tell them to go to the principal’s office.
“At my old school, my head teacher told me he wanted to install vape detector alarms in the toilet, but apparently we weren’t allowed to because that would be an invasion of privacy.”
E-cigarettes have been sold as a safer alternative to tobacco, as they do not produce tar – the primary cause of lung cancer.
Some countries continue to promote them with public health initiatives to help cigarette smokers switch to a less deadly habit.
Last month, the UK government announced plans to hand out free vaping starter kits to one million smokers in England to get smoking rates below 5% by 2030.
But Australia’s government says that evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit is insufficient for now. Instead, research shows it may push young vapers into taking up smoking later in life.
Vapes, or e-cigarettes, are lithium battery-powered devices that have cartridges filled with liquids containing nicotine, artificial flavourings, and other chemicals.
The liquid is heated and turned into a vapour and inhaled into the user’s lungs.
Vaping took off from the mid-2000s and there were some 81 million vapers worldwide in 2021, according to the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction group.
Fuelling the rise is the mushrooming popularity of flavoured vapes designed to appeal to the young.
These products can contain far higher volumes of nicotine than regular cigarettes, while some devices sold as ‘nicotine-free’ can actually hold large amounts.
The chemical cocktail also contains formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde – which have been linked to lung disease, heart disease, and cancer.
There’s also a suggestion of an increased risk of stroke, respiratory infection, and impaired lung function.
Experts warn not enough is known about the long-term health effects. But some alarming data has already been drawn out.
In 2020, US health authorities identified more than 2,800 cases of e-cigarette or vaping-related lung injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 68 deaths attributed to that injury.
In Australia, a major study by leading charity The Cancer Council found more than half of all children who had ever vaped had used an e-cigarette they knew contained nicotine and thought that vaping was a socially acceptable behaviour.
School-age children were being supplied with e-cigarettes through friends or “dealers” inside and outside school, or from convenience stores and tobacconists, the report said.
Teens also reported purchasing vapes through social media, websites and at pop-up vape stores, the Generation Vape project found.
“Whichever way teenagers obtain e-cigarettes, they are all illegal, yet it’s happening under the noses of federal and state authorities”, report author and Cancer Council chair Anita Dessaix said.
“All Australian governments say they’re committed to ensuring e-cigarettes are only accessed by smokers with a prescription trying to quit – yet a crisis in youth e-cigarette use is unfolding in plain view.”
In addition to the government’s move to ban the import of all non-pharmaceutical vaping products – meaning they can now only be bought with a prescription – all single-use disposable vapes will be made illegal.
The volume and concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes will also be restricted, and both flavours and packaging must be plain and carrying warning labels.
But these new measures are not actually all that drastic, says public health physician Professor Emily Banks from the Australian National University.
“Australia is not an outlier. It is unique to have a prescription-only model, but other places actually ban them completely, and that includes almost all of Latin America, India, Thailand and Japan.”
‘We have been duped’
Health Minister Mark Butler said the new vaping regulations will close the “biggest loophole in Australian healthcare history”.
“Just like they did with smoking… ‘Big Tobacco’ has taken another addictive product, wrapped it in shiny packaging and added sweet flavours to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.”
“We have been duped”, he said.
Medical experts agree. Prof Banks argues that the promotion of e-cigarettes as a “healthier” alternative was a classic “sleight-of-hand” from the tobacco industry.
As such vaping has become “normalised” in Australia, and in the UK too.
“There’s over 17,000 flavours, and the majority of use is not for smoking cessation”, she tells the BBC.
“They’re being heavily marketed towards children and adolescents. People who are smoking and using e-cigarettes – that’s the most common pattern of use, dual use.”
Professor Banks says authorities need to “de-normalise” vaping among teenagers and make vapes much harder to get hold of.
“Kids are interpreting the fact that they can very easily get hold of [vapes] as evidence [they’re safe], and they’re actually saying, ‘well, if they were that unsafe, I wouldn’t be able to buy one at the coffee shop’.
But could stricter controls make it harder for people who do turn to vapes hoping to quit or cut down on tobacco?
“It is important to bear in mind that for some people, e-cigarettes have really helped. But we shouldn’t say ‘this is great for smokers to quit’, says Prof Banks.
“We know from
Australia, from the US, from Europe, that two-thirds to three-quarters of people who quit smoking successfully, do so unaided.”
“You’re trying to bring these [vapes] in saying they’re a great way to quit smoking, but actually we’ve got bubble gum flavoured vapes being used by 13-year-olds in the school toilets. That is not what the community signed up for.”
Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-65522841
Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative
In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.
The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.
But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.
So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?
Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.
Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.
The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.
Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.
Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.
Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.
Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.
It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.
“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”
But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.
Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.
But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.
It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.
Critics push for investigation
Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.
But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.
And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.
Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.
Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.
“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.
“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”
The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.
Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.
And she says the same transparency is needed here.
The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them
The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.
“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.
“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”
PM defends governor-general
Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.
“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”
Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.
“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.
“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”
A role fit for purpose?
Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.
She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.
“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”
Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.
“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.
“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”
But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.
“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”
Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62683210
Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania
A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.
Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.
The other driver involved was not hurt.
Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.
The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.
“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.
“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”
Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.
Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.
Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.
Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.
Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.
Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987
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