Man jailed for trying to infect 10 men with HIV loses legal challenge

Hairdresser who was jailed for life for trying to infect 10 men with HIV loses legal challenges against his conviction and sentence

  • Daryll Rowe, 28, was sentenced to life with minimum jail term of 12 years in April
  • Court of Appeal in London said sentence and conviction was ‘unarguable’ today
  • He had unprotected sex with men despite being fully aware he was HIV positive 
  • Rowe is first man in UK found guilty of intentionally setting out to spread virus

Daryll Rowe, 28, (pictured arriving at an earlier hearing) has lost a legal challenge against his conviction and life sentence

A man found guilty of deliberately trying to infect 10 men with HIV has lost challenges against his conviction and sentence.

Hairdresser Daryll Rowe watched proceedings via video link from prison as leading judges rejected his appeal applications today.

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with two other judges at the Court of Appeal in London, announced that the reasons presented on his behalf in relation to both conviction and sentence were ‘unarguable’.

Rowe, now 28, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 12 years by a judge at Brighton Crown Court in April.

He became the first man in the country to be found guilty of intentionally setting out to spread the virus.

Felicity Gerry QC had argued on Rowe’s behalf during the appeal proceedings that a submission of ‘no case to answer’ should have been accepted by the trial judge.

She said: ‘Our primary submissions are that the submission of no case to answer should have succeeded. That not having succeeded, the summing up was inadequate.’

But the prosecution argued that there was ‘no merit’ in the ‘bold’ submissions made on Rowe’s behalf.

Rowe was convicted of 10 charges – five of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.


The hairdresser (posing topless left) was convicted earlier this year of 10 charges – five of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so. Rowe (pictured right) had sex with eight of the men in Brighton and with two others in the North East


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His victims cannot be identified for legal reasons and Lady Justice Hallett emphasised that nothing must be published which could lead to their identification.

At his trial, Rowe was accused of launching a deliberate campaign to infect gay men he met on a dating app after being diagnosed in April 2015 in his home city of Edinburgh.

He had sex with eight of the men in Brighton, East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, and later with two others in the North East.

Rowe was snared following ‘significant’ enquiries carried out by officers in Scotland and England.

After his trial in Brighton, Rowe pleaded guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh to four more incidents where he had unprotected sex with partners despite being fully aware he was HIV positive. 


Rowe (left) also pleaded guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh to four more incidents where he had unprotected sex with partners despite knowing he was HIV positive. Rowe (pictured left arriving at Lewes Crown Court) was given an eight-year prison term by the Scottish court

He was given an eight-year prison term and he was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

In April he was jailed for life at Lewes Crown Court. The court heard he had sent mocking text messages after sex saying he was ‘riddled’.

During the sentencing Judge Christine Henson QC, said: ‘You are the first individual to be sentenced for Section 18 offences in the context of infecting others with HIV.

‘With the full knowledge of the risk you posed to others and the legal implications of engaging in risky sexual practices, you embarked on a deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus.

‘They describe living with a life sentence as a result of your cruel and senseless acts.  Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you.’

One of his victims told the court that he had considered ‘committing suicide all the time’ adding: ‘I don’t feel I can trust anyone. Daryll has destroyed my life.’

Rowe told jurors he believed he had been cured of the virus by the time he moved to Brighton, having adopted the practice of drinking his own urine as a treatment, supplemented with natural remedies, including oregano, coconut and olive leaf oils. 

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