Jamaican jailed after knowingly infecting woman with HIV in UK
A Jamaican man who knowingly infected a woman with HIV has been jailed in the UK.
Jermaine Scott appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced to three years in prison.
The 39-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm.
The Cheshire Constabulary said Scott was diagnosed with HIV in 2005 and had been prescribed medication to minimise the risk of transmission to others.
He and the 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, meaning 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, the police said.
The victim became suspicious of his behaviour, and in October 2009, the pair attended a sexual health clinic. While at the clinic, Scott provided a false name and false medical details to the health worker, the Cheshire Constabulary said.
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. Following a public appeal, he was located and arrested in February 2011.
According to the police, Scott refused to answer any questions put to him by 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 UK to Jamaica in November 2011 after it was found that he was in the UK illegally.
Shortly after his deportation, the victim asked 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 before her diagnosis, while she was in a relationship with Scott".
Cheshire Constabulary said 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 CPS, who agreed to charge Scott with grievous bodily harm (section 20 assault) in February 2020. An extradition warrant was issued, and he was returned to the UK in November 2022 to be charged in connection with the incident.
Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Emma Myers, who led the investigation, said:
“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.
“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," she said.