Retrial for grievous biological harm HIV case

Mohammed Dica from south London, has had his conviction overturned after an appeal yesterday based around legal error found at his trial on the 14th October 2003.

Mohammed Dica was sentenced to eight years imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court having been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm at Inner London Crown Court on 14 October 2003. At his October trial, the court heard that Dica, 38, a married father of three, knowingly infected two lovers with the HIV virus.

Last year Police said Dica had stated that he had told the women he didn’t need to use a condom during sex because he’d had a vasectomy.

Mr Dica now awaits an early retrial and was also refused an application for bail.

Mr Dica was the first person in over a century to be convicted in the English courts for sexually transmitting a disease.

It had been previously thought such prosecutions were barred by an 1889 ruling where a man infected his wife with gonorrhoea. The man was cleared on appeal when it was ruled his wife had consented to the "nature and quality" of the sexual act, even though she was oblivious to her husbands disease.

The presiding judge ruled the 1889 ruling had been "thoroughly undermined" by this case. He also noted that, whether or not the women knew of Mr Dica's condition, their consent was irrelevant and provided no defence. The jury was not asked to consider the consent issue.

A statement from the HIV charity George House Trust said: 'Every adult has a responsibility for their own consenting sexual behaviour and for protecting themselves.

Criminalising the transmission of HIV simply puts all of the responsibility on people living with the virus.' Furthermore, surely the logical consequence of cases such as these is to criminalise unprotected sex, on the grounds that it can so easily cause some kind of physical/psychological/biological grievous bodily harm.

And from there, to criminalise sex - because of the sense of emotional betrayal when you realise that your bedfellows have lied to you about their jobs, skills and marital status.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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