Daryll Rowe, 26, arrives at Lewes Crown Court
AN ALLEGED victim of a hairdresser accused of deliberately infecting his lovers with HIV was starstruck after meeting him and they also went out for a meal, a court heard.
The man said he let his “guard down” and had “lulled” himself “into a false sense of security” after after meeting Daryll Rowe, Lewes Crown Court heard.
Rowe, 26, originally of Edinburgh, is alleged to have set out to spread the virus by pressuring lovers in Brighton and elsewhere into unprotected sex and claiming he was free of the disease.
Rowe would tamper with the condom if a partner forced him to wear one, the court heard.
He is charged with five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm in relation to 10 men.
The alleged victim was tested for HIV about 10 weeks after having sex with Rowe and was confirmed with the illness on 14 March 2016. In his police interview he had been tested six months before and had been clean.
The man, who was cross-examined via videolink from Australia, told police he met Rowe on Grindr and met up with him for casual sex.
The jury heard the pair had exchanged explicit pictures with each other but the only time they met face-to-face was when they had sex and when they went out for a meal.
They went to Rowe’s flat. The alleged victim said he put condoms on the bed but they were not used.
On how he felt about Rowe, the man added: “I was star-struck, which I know sounds silly for someone I have just met. I let my guard down.”
The man told the officer: “My mistake there in terms of my life, is that because I told him I did not want unprotected sex I thought he was not going to go against that.”
He said: “I lulled myself into a false sense of security.”
The court heard that Rowe had previously asked this man if he was “clean”.
The alleged victim said he “foolishly” did not ask the same question of Rowe.
The man told the officer he had unprotected sex about five weeks before meeting Rowe and he also had sex with someone else in the weeks afterwards.
The alleged victim said that he had a rash which put down to cycling but it turned out to be chlamydia.
He also recalled having a very bad flu about four weeks later.
It was so bad that he went on the internet, and the first thing that came up were the symptoms of HIV.
The alleged victim was asked by prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC if there had been any mention of Rowe being HIV positive and he told the court there was “never” any mention of HIV in their conversations.
The hearing was adjourned until October 24 at 10.30am.
Source: The Argus