Hairdresser Daryll Rowe who deliberately infected men with HIV admits further charges

Daryll Rowe became the first person in the country to be convicted of intentionally setting out to spread the virus.

The 27-year-old from Edinburgh was given a life sentence last month, with a minimum 12-year prison term.

At Edinburgh’s High Court on Friday, Rowe admitted having sex with four men in the knowledge that he was HIV-positive.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of culpable and reckless conduct and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Police Scotland said the hairdresser, who was diagnosed in April 2015, would meet men on gay dating apps and enter into sexual relationships without disclosing his illness.

He would either refrain from wearing a condom during sex, or tamper with the protection, as he sought to deliberately infect others.

Rowe was previously convicted of targeting 10 victims in England, of which five are now HIV-positive.

He was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court in November of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and another five of attempting to do so.

One victim told the court that his encounters with Rowe – who would goad the men with abusive text messages after meeting them – had left him contemplating suicide.

“I think about committing suicide all the time,” said the man, who is now HIV-positive.

“I don’t feel I can trust anyone. Daryll has destroyed my life. I would rather he had murdered me than left me to live my life like this.”

Another victim, who also tested positive for HIV, said: “How did this happen? My parents died of AIDS and I did everything to prevent contracting HIV. I tried to take my life with my HIV medication.”

Rowe had sex with eight different men in Brighton before being arrested by Sussex Police after two HIV patients at a sexual health clinic provided similar descriptions of the person they had sex with.

It led the force and health officials to publish a warning urging gay men who had sex with “a man in his 20s with a Scottish accent” to get tested.

Rowe – said to have been motivated by “anger” and a need to “control” – was subsequently arrested again but was re-bailed twice until November, during which time he went on the run and targeted another two men in the North East.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin MacLean, of Police Scotland, said: “Daryll Rowe is a devious and deceptive predator who has shown absolutely no remorse for the extensive suffering and distress he has caused his victims.

“Rowe would then go to great lengths to ensure he put partners at risk of contracting HIV, demonstrating the callous and reckless nature of his character.”

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