Aids victim wants 'Shirley Valentine' lover jailed

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The Independent Online
A divorcee who contracted HIV from a man she met after starting a new life in Cyprus has begun an extraordinary fight to have him jailed.

Janette Pink, 44, wants to see an HIV-positive Cypriot fisherman, Pavlos Georgiou, behind bars for recklessly infecting her, within the 20 months she has been given to live.

But as Essex police discussed what legal routes may be open to her with the Crown Prosecution Service yesterday, Aids experts and lawyers warned that legal action would be fraught with difficulty.

Nick Partridge, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust which helps people with Aids, said: "This is a tragic case but using the law creates more problems than solutions."

Mrs Pink moved to Cyprus after her 20-year marriage to a City accountant crumbled. Her move echoed the play and film, Shirley Valentine, in which a frustrated housewife escapes her dull life in Britain to find romance on a Greek island.

She became friendly with Mr Georgiou, 39, who told her his wife was dying of leukaemia. In truth, she had Aids and Mr Georgiou was HIV-positive.

Unaware, Mrs Pink fell in love with him and became infected. She discovered last summer when she had an Aids test.

When he began to see other women, she left Cyprus and returned to Britain where she is now "weak but comfortable" in a private room at Basildon Hospital in Essex.

Mrs Pink, who has two grown-up children, told the Daily Mail yesterday: "I have been incredibly naive but I did not deserve this ... I really believed his wife had leukaemia. What he has done is murder. The law in this country needs to be looked at to protect others. This man lied and cheated his way into my life."

Her MP, Sir Teddy Taylor, has written to Malcolm Rifkind, the Foreign Secretary, about the case and her family have asked for the help of Essex police.

A police spokeswoman said: "We're working with the CPS to establish whether we have any jurisdiction to make any criminal prosecution."

The case would be unprecedented in Britain but if Mr Georgiou was brought to trial here, he could face charges of grievous bodily harm or man slaughter, when Mrs Pink dies.A case on the holiday island would be more probable - though still very unlikely.

Cyprus police are understood to be investigating.

However, the Terrence Higgins Trust expressed caution at the idea of a criminal prosecution. The trust fears that legislation dealing with this kind of case would discourage people from seeking an HIV test and could increase the spread of the virus.

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