Bristol

Man with HIV jailed for 'recklessly' infecting women

Simon Arthur James Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Simon James claimed unprotected sex with him was safe

A man with HIV who infected two women with the virus has been jailed for five years at Bristol Crown Court.

Simon James, 46, from the city, lied to the women, both his former partners.

James was diagnosed with HIV in the 1990s but failed to use contraception, attend hospital appointments or take his medication, the court heard.

He was found guilty of recklessly transmitting HIV - Avon and Somerset Police said it is only the third such conviction in UK legal history.

Recorder Michael Parroy, QC, said his actions were "dreadful" and had "devastated" the lives of the women.

'Tragic consequences'

Police said James initially did not tell the women he was infected and then, when his HIV status was discovered, he claimed to be allergic to latex condoms and insisted unprotected sex with him was safe because he had never infected anyone before.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Det Con Ben Sullivan said: "Simon James had been aware of his HIV status and yet failed to use his antiretroviral medication or use contraception."

He added: "As a result, his victims have suffered greatly and I can only praise them for their bravery."

Stephen Dent, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The HIV virus is highly complex and prosecutions based upon its transmission are similarly complicated.

"We are therefore pleased that, with the help of some of the country's foremost virology experts, Simon James' dangerous behaviour has been exposed and he has been punished for the lifelong injury he has caused his victims.

"His selfish and irresponsible approach has had tragic consequences for both his victims."

James, from Bradley Stoke, was convicted at a previous hearing.

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