law pages of Bournemouth and Poole College.
[Assaults – GBH – inflicting HIV is GBH, although consent should be considered by the jury]
D was convicted on a retrial because he infected a woman with HIV – so called biological GBH – (s 20). His appeal in 2004 resulted in the retrial, the Court of Appeal ruling that the original trial judge should have allowed the jury to consider consent as a defence. At the retrial the judge followed the Court of Appeal ruling at the earlier appeal.
Held: The court was bound by previous authority.
In their earlier authority they had confined themselves to reflecting that unless you were prepared to take whatever risk of sexually transmitted infection there might be, it was unlikely that you would consent to a risk of major consequent illness if you were ignorant of it.
Appeal to the House of Lords refused, but they certified a point of law of general pubic importance.
4 ½ years imprisonment was held not to be excessive.