A 27-year-old British man who intentionally infected others with HIV after meeting them on Grindr was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.
Daryll Rowe had been found guilty in November of five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm. He infected at least four victims in the Sussex area between October of 2015 and January of 2016, according to cops.
"A part of me died that day when I was diagnosed," one of Rowe's victims said in court. "The old me is no longer. The new me is constantly sad, thinking about how my life changed. I have been devastated by Rowe's actions but I want to make sure that this doesn't happen to anyone else."
Rowe was arrested in February of 2016 after cops were contacted by a health clinic in Brighton that noticed similarities in how two people had contracted HIV.
Photos of Rowe:
He had been diagnosed in April of 2015 in Edinburgh, where he was from, but he refused medication. Rowe told the jury that he believed drinking his own urine every day would cure him.
It was revealed in court that Rowe met his victims on the online dating site Grindr. He would tell them he was clean or negative for HIV but would give them a false name out of fears that they would look him up online.
He would send his victims vindictive messages and told one of them he had the virus after the fact.
"This virus took away my parents, my biological father and mother died of AIDS when I was only a kid," one of his victims said in court. "This disease is something I never took lightly. I did everything to prevent the virus from ever catching me. I educated myself on safe sex and always used a condom but on 13 November 2015, Daryll Rowe decided to take that right away from me."
Sussex Detective Inspector Andy Wolstenholme said that when Rowe didn't get what he wanted, "he deliberately damaged condoms to achieve his aim."
"The victims have demonstrated real strength of character in speaking out about this, and because of this strength and the hard work of the detectives, staff and partners working on the case, a dangerous man, who betrayed the trust of many men, is now in prison," he said.
Rowe can be considered for release after serving 10 years. Anyone with information about the investigation can email Sussex police at firstname.lastname@example.org.