A Jamaican man who “recklessly” gave HIV to a British woman 14 years ago has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Jermaine Scott, 39, appeared in a Chester Crown Court in the U.K. Tuesday, Cheshire police said in a news release. He had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Police say Scott was diagnosed with HIV in 2005 and had been prescribed medication that, if taken, could have eliminated the risk of transmission to others.
He and the unidentified victim had previously been in a relationship and rekindled their relationship in the summer of 2009.
When the relationship restarted, Scott was not taking his tablets regularly, which meant that there was a higher risk of transmission. He also failed to inform the victim of his diagnosis and went on to have unprotected sex with the woman.
When the victim became suspicious of his behavior, the pair attended a sexual health clinic in October 2009, where Scott provided a fake name and fake medical details to the health worker.
The victim subsequently tested positive for HIV, and the pair ended their relationship. Following their split, Scott left the Cheshire area.
The incident was reported to Cheshire Constabulary in October 2009, and an investigation was launched to locate Scott, leading to his arrest in February 2011.
Scott refused to answer any questions from officers, and despite a detailed investigation, officers were unable to gather sufficient evidence to charge him in relation to the incident, and the case was closed. He was subsequently deported from the United Kingdom in November 2011 after it was found that he was in the U.K. illegally.
Shortly after his deportation, the victim asked for the case to be reopened, and detectives subsequently sought help from a number of medical experts who revealed that it was highly likely that the victim had been infected with HIV in the three months prior to her diagnosis, while she was in a relationship with Scott.
They also identified a number of genetic links between the strain of HIV that the victim had been diagnosed with and that of the offender.
In 2019, the additional evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, who agreed to charge Scott with grievous bodily harm in February 2020. He was extradited back to the U.K. in November 2022 to be charged.
“It has taken more than 12 years to reach this point, and having supported the victim throughout the investigation I have seen first-hand the pain and suffering that she has endured, both physically and psychologically,” said Detective Sergeant Emma Myers, who led the investigation.
“She will now live the rest of her life forever marred by the actions of Scott. There is no cure, and she will now have to take medication for the rest of her life. Scott’s actions have also affected her relationships with others, and she no longer trusts men. While no sentence will ever be enough, I do hope that the fact that Scott is now behind bars and has been held accountable will provide her with some closure,” Myers concluded.