A HAIRDRESSER sent messages to taunt men after he had deliberately tried to infect them with HIV, a court heard.

Daryll Rowe embarked on a “cynical and deliberate” campaign to infect men with the disease after meeting them on gay dating app Grindr, prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC told Lewes Crown Court yesterday.

She said: “Unfortunately for many of the men he met, his campaign was successful.”

She said that after unprotected sex he sent messages to taunt them. One, she said, read: “I have HIV. Lol. Whoops!”

The 26-year-old insisted on having unprotected sex with a series of sexual partners, even though he knew he was HIV positive and had been refusing treatment, she said.

The jury was told if the men said no, he broke the top off condoms.

Appearing in the dock wearing a blue suit, blue patterned tie and white shirt, Rowe faces allegations lodged by ten men that he deliberately tried to infect them between October 2015 and December 2016. The men have been granted lifelong anonymity.

Eight of the men were living in Brighton and met Rowe on Grindr, the court head. Four of these contracted HIV as a result of the encounter, the jury was told.

The strains of the disease were very similar to his, making it highly likely he was the source, the court was told.

Sussex Police launched Operation Brickhill after the Claude Nicol sexual health clinic in Eastern Road, Brighton, phoned officers with concerns two patients had provided similar descriptions of a man they had slept with before contracting the disease. The investigation prompted a city-wide public health warning being issued in a bid to urge other gay men to get tested.

Rowe moved to Brighton in late 2015 but had no obvious links to Sussex.

But he had already struck up conversations with alleged victims online before moving into a flat in Brighton Square, the court heard.

Ms Carberry said he went on to taunt some of the men over text when they questioned him after sex.

When one insisted he use a condom, Rowe later allegedly told him in an abusive phone call: “I ripped the condom. You’re so stupid. You didn’t even know.”

Another 25-year-old man only had one other sexual partner before the defendant and considered him to be his boyfriend, jurors were told.

Rowe even boasted he was “riddled with diseases” when an alleged victim worried after finding a broken condom in the sink after their encounter, the jury was told. He branded the man “paranoid”, the court heard.

Ms Carberry added: “It’s the prosecution’s case the defendant embark on a deliberate campaign to infect these young men with HIV.

“He engaged in deliberately risky sexual conduct knowing he was highly infectious and failing to take medication that would make him less infectious, lying to every single one of these ten men about his HIV status, sabotaging condoms and sending text messages making it clear he knew exactly what he was doing.

“Even when he was on police bail for these offences, he continued his campaign in the north east.”

Rowe, of Edinburgh, denies four charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and six charges of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The trial, expected to last six weeks, continues today when doctors who diagnosed Rowe with HIV will give evidence.

The first of the alleged victims is due to take to the witness stand on Monday.

Story so far

SCOTTISH-BORN Daryll Rowe was diagnosed with HIV while he was still living Edinburgh in April 2015.

After a sexual health clinic contacted him to tell him a former partner was infected. He also had herpes, which makes transmitting HIV more likely, the court heard.

He was initially found by doctors to be "coping well" with his diagnosis but they were concerned when he stopped attending appointments and refused treatment including the antiretroviral drug which slows the development of the virus and makes him less contagious, the court heard.

Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting, said: "He was warned he could be prosecuted for passing on or even putting someone at risk of contracting HIV from him.

"He told his doctors he was not going to engage in any unprotected sex again."

One of the complainants last tested negative for HIV on the morning he met Rowe in October that year and did not have sex again before he tested positive two months later, the court heard.


HAIRDRESSER Daryll Rowe was released on bail by police investigating allegations he was deliberating trying to infect men with HIV and he went on to target two more victims, the trial heard.

Sussex Police officers found Rowe in bed with a young Polish man - who is not one of the alleged victims on the indictment - when they arrested him in February last year.

Two complainants had contacted police and officers had also been contacted by the Claude Nicol sexual health clinic in Brighton with concerns, the court heard.

In his first police interview, he denied being HIV positive and denied having had sex or even meeting the first two complainants to come forward.

He was told to move away from Brighton and answer bail in Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland.

By the time of his second interview, officers had obtained his medical records proving he had lied about his HIV status, the court was told.

Jurors heard he skipped bail and adopted the name Gary Cole as he then slept and lived with two other alleged victims near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

They did not contract the disease but Rowe is accused of attempting to infect them.

When police were given Rowe's belongings after speaking with his latest alleged victim they found three condoms in a box, Ms Carberry told the court. Jurors were told the wrappers had been opened and the ends of the condoms cut off before being rolled back into the packaging.