Man jailed for infecting teenager with HIV

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The Independent Online

A 31-year-old man was jailed today after infecting a young woman with HIV.

Nicholas Richards, of Saffron Way, Sittingbourne, Kent, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm after knowingly exposing the 19-year-old to the virus in June 2008.

Police said the victim only found out she had the virus after having blood tests when she fell pregnant. The baby did not contract it, officers added.

Richards was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to a year's jail for GBH and an additional year for a further count of GBH with intent for attacking a man in a separate incident, Kent Police said.

His victim, a 28-year-old from Gillingham, sustained swelling and bruising to his face, a broken nose, bleeding to the left side of his brain and a partially severed tongue on April 9 last year.

Judge David Caddick also handed Richards a five-year sexual offences prevention order, which bans him from having unprotected sex or from failing to tell partners about his HIV status.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Wilson, of Kent Police, said afterwards: "The crimes committed by Richards have been both abhorrent and callous, with far-reaching consequences for both his victims.

"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.

"Furthermore, his vicious attack on a man in Medway proves he is a danger to others and I am glad he has been brought to justice for his crimes today."