A photographer who infected a lover with HIV by failing to tell her he had the disease has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Leslie Pringle did not inform the woman, referred to only as X in court, he had the disease before they started a sexual relationship.
The 48-year-old had denied causing X grievous bodily harm but was found guilty by a jury after a trial. Prosecutors said Pringle, who publicly apologised to his victim through his barrister, had a 'cavalier' attitude to sex and disregard for the safety of others.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Judge Paul Sloan QC branded Pringle 'utterly irresponsible and selfish.' The judge told him: 'At no time during the relationship did you inform X of your HIV positive status.
'Worse than that, you deliberately concealed that positive status from her.
'When you did take medication you hid the medication, and the fact you were taking it, from her and you also kept your visits to the clinic from her.
'She trusted you implicitly, it never crossed her mind that you were HIV positive.
'She believed it was a safe relationship, given your account to her that previous relationships had been long standing.
'Needless to say, the revelation she was HIV positive had a devastating effect upon her, leading to severe and continuing emotional and physical problems in addition to the serious psychological harm you caused her.
'Having regard to the victim personal statement, clearly X’s life has been changed forever. 'She speaks of depression, a sense of worthlessness.
'She speaks of her nightmares, her fragile state. She speaks of trust remaining a huge issue for her.
You were advised in terms to tell all partners of your status and I am satisfied you deliberately chose not to, thereby denying X choice.
'You chose, quite deliberately, to ignore repeated warnings and advice you were given by the clinic.'
The court heard during the trial Pringle had been repeatedly advised on how to avoid passing on the disease - as well as the importance of condoms - after he was diagnosed.
He had also been warned of his legal and moral obligation to inform sexual partners of his illness.
But Pringle, of Rennington Avenue, North Shields, had sex with the woman without using protection and had not been regularly taking his medication or attending clinic appointments to try and control his illness, as he had been advised.