Lancashire

Fleetwood man jailed for infecting women with HIV

Aaron Sutcliffe Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, was jailed after admitting inflicting grievous bodily harm

A man who knowingly infected two women with HIV "took the coward's way out" as he remained silent about his condition, a court has heard.

Aaron Sutcliffe, 29, was jailed for six years and nine months on Tuesday after earlier admitting inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He was diagnosed with HIV in 2008 but did not disclose the fact to the women, Preston Crown Court was told.

One of the women said the defendant had "condemned" her to a "life sentence".

The two offences took place on dates between 2009 and 2016.

'Infected'

Judge Philip Parry told Sutcliffe, of Westhead Walk in Fleetwood, Lancashire: "You wilfully and deliberately withheld your status to two women that you professed to care for."

"That was deceitful, calculated and manipulative", he said.

"You took the coward's way out, kept your silence and infected them. You had no right to do so."

The court was told he had "ample opportunity" to tell the women, who remain terrified they will pass on the virus to their children.

He tricked his first victim into believing they received their diagnoses at the same time, the court heard.

Sutcliffe's second victim said he had condemned her to a "life sentence" and robbed her of "precious early months of bonding" with her child as she took to wearing gloves to feed and change the infant.

In mitigation, Sutcliffe was said to have a background of alcohol and drug abuse, and had been referred to mental health services on numerous occasions.

He claims he was infected himself by a man who sexually abused him and the allegation is currently under police investigation, the court heard.

Sutcliffe was given a sexual harm prevention order which prohibits him from engaging in lawful sex with another person unless he has told them he has HIV.

Previously, he was subject to an order which required him to provide contact details of partners to Lancashire Police and wait for written approval before having intercourse wearing a condom.

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