Kent

Sittingbourne man jailed for giving woman HIV

A man who exposed a woman to the HIV virus has been jailed.

Nicholas Andrew Richards, 31, of Saffron Way, Sittingbourne, Kent, admitted GBH at a previous hearing at Maidstone Crown Court.

He was jailed for a year on that charge and a further year for another count of GBH after an attack on a man in Medway.

Richards was also given a five-year sexual offences prevention order, which stops him from having unprotected sex or not telling a partner about his HIV.

The court heard Richards exposed his 19-year-old victim to the virus in June 2008.

'Abhorrent and callous'

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, found out she had the disease during blood tests when she got pregnant.

Her baby did not contract the virus, police said.

After the hearing, Det Ch Insp Simon Wilson said the crimes committed by Richards were "abhorrent and callous" and had far-reaching consequences.

He said: "Not only did he knowingly infect a young girl with HIV - a disease she will have to live with for the rest of her life, but he also selfishly put her child at risk too.

"Thankfully, the sheer bravery the victim showed in coming forward immediately and giving evidence in court helped us secure a conviction against him and I would pay tribute to her courage."

He urged anyone else who had "fallen prey" to Richards to contact the police.

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