Daryll Rowe, the 27-year-old British hairdresser from Edinburgh who intentionally infected five men with HIV, was given a life sentence on Wednesday after being found guilty on five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in 2015 but refused treatment, saying he believed drinking his own urine and taking nutritional supplements would cure him of the disease. Rowe began using the dating app Grindr to find sexual partners. He would give them a fake name and tell them he was HIV negative, and he deliberately punctured condoms if his partners insisted on using protection. Afterwards, Rowe would taunt his victims, admitting he was HIV positive and calling them stupid.
BREAKING: Daryll Rowe sentenced to life in prison by Judge Christine Henson QC— BBC South East (@bbcsoutheast) April 18, 2018
Rowe was arrested after a Brighton health clinic alerted police when they noticed a pattern in how two people had become infected. At his sentencing Judge Christine Henson QC admonished Rowe, calling his actions a "determined hateful campaign of sly violence." She later added, "You will potentially remain a danger to others for the rest of your life."
Rowe reportedly showed no emotion as he was sentenced to life for his crimes.
Many were outraged by Rowe's actions and hoped the life sentence would provide some measure of justice for his victims.
Excellent news!!That's exactly what that sadistic monster deserves..😒 all my love and light for his poor victims 💕☄— Adri W (@AdriW9) April 19, 2018
Thats really despicable. Harming people who had nothing to do with your disease... just really sad.— Her. (@Niecey_Beeeee) April 19, 2018
Luckily for his victims, HIV is not longer a definitive death sentence. But he deserved what he got.— ᒍEᖇᔕEYᑕᖇᗩIG #LGBTvoices (@CJPatruno) April 18, 2018
Rowe will be eligible for parole after 12 years, and many believe his sentence was too light.
They get a life sentence and he only gets 12 years?! He got off way too easy.— Tabbykatniss ☮️ (@TabbyKatniss) April 18, 2018
Should of been life for each victim.. justice hasent been done! 😡😡— Nic (@_OfficialNic) April 18, 2018
Rowe is the first person the U.K. has convicted of intentionally infecting others with HIV.
As news of Rowe's sentence spread, many thought of California, which just reduced the same crime to a misdemeanor.
In California they have decriminalized knowingly transmitting HIV— LadySJMG (@LadySJMG) April 18, 2018
Amazing. In California, knowingly seducing potential partners into in high risk sex and passing on HIV/AIDs virus has been decriminalized.— Ross Burke (@BurkeRoss) April 20, 2018
Many worry the damage Rowe caused will extend beyond his victims to the community at large.