David Golding: Court criticised over herpes infector ruling

Campaigners have criticised the Court of Appeal after it rejected a man's appeal against his conviction for infecting a woman with genital herpes.

David Golding, 31, of Braunston in Northamptonshire, had been jailed for 14 months after admitting grievous bodily harm in August 2011.

His appeal was rejected although his sentence was reduced to the three months he had already served in prison.

The Herpes Virus Association said it was "appalled" at the ruling.

The group, which campaigns against the transmission of herpes being treated as a criminal offence, supported Golding throughout his case.

Its director Marian Nicholson said: "We are appalled at the court's failure to overturn the guilty verdict - herpes virus transmission should not be in the legal arena at all.

"Over half the cases of genital herpes are caused by the common facial cold sore type usually [transmitted] by oral sex.

"The implications of the judgment are that any of them [infection carriers] could be sent to prison if they transmit this infection to a partner."

Golding had claimed he was given inadequate legal advice and submitted fresh medical evidence but these arguments were rejected by the court.

Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with two other judges, said the woman who had been infected with the sexually transmitted illness "has to live with the knowledge it is a lifelong condition prone to recur at intervals".

Even though Golding had acted "recklessly rather than deliberately" in infecting the woman, he said the original sentence was appropriate.

Golding was released from prison on bail in 2011 once his appeal was lodged.

The judge said because Golding had spent time in custody after conviction and sentence, and there was a "considerable" delay in his appeal being heard, the court had "exceptionally" concluded his sentence should be cut to three months.

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