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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
HIV man guilty of infecting lovers
Mohammed Dica
Dica said both women knew he was HIV positive
A man diagnosed with HIV has been found guilty of "callously" infecting two women with the virus in a landmark legal case.

The jury at Inner London Crown Court found 37-year-old Mohammed Dica guilty of two counts of "biological" grievous bodily harm on Tuesday.

Father-of-three Dica, from Mitcham, south-west London, had told police both women knew of his condition before they had sex.

But the court heard he told his first victim he had undergone a vasectomy and pursued the second victim, a mother of two, repeatedly telling her he loved her and wanted her to have his children.

He played with my life and he's destroyed it
Dica's second victim

The jury of six men and six women were told that both women could be dead in 10 years.

The case is believed to be the first successful prosecution in England and Wales for sexually transmitting HIV.

Prosecutor Mark Gadsden told the jury that grievous bodily harm usually described a physical attack but could include psychological harm from being stalked or getting nuisance calls.

He said: "He coldly and callously infected these two women."

Appeal likely

Judge Nicholas Philpot rejected an application for bail and a request for a psychiatric report - but said he would adjourn sentencing if further concerns were raised.

He added: "If I had to sentence him today there is no doubt he would be going to prison, and for a long time."

Dica, who may only have a few years to live, is planning an appeal against the verdict.

His second victim, known only as Deborah, sobbed as the jury returned its verdict.

Mohammed Dica is the first person to be successfully prosecuted in England and Wales for passing on the Aids virus, HIV, through sex

She said: "He played with my life and he's destroyed it. This has been a tragic part of my life.

"Not only did I find out that I had contracted HIV but also discovered that the person who gave it to me, whom I trusted and loved, had been infected for five years and devastated my life and the life of another woman with intent.

"Sadly this is not over for me.

"My sentence has begun but I can now move on knowing that justice has been done."

Others infected

Speaking after the verdict, Metropolitan Police Detective Sergeant Jo Goodall suggested Dica may have infected others.

"This is a landmark case, being the first successful prosecution in England and Wales, for inflicting grievous bodily harm by infecting, in this case two victims, with a serious sexually transmittable disease, namely HIV, in over a century.

"I admire the courage of the two females in coming forward with this allegation.

People with HIV should feel able to disclose their HIV status without fear of rejection or discrimination
Derek Bodell, National Aids Trust chief executive
"I hope that the outcome of this case will encourage other victims to come forward, especially since it may well be that there are other victims of this man."

Anger at verdict

Derek Bodell, National Aids Trust chief executive, said: "Today's case is a tragedy for all parties.

"Treating cases like this as a criminal offence will not prevent such incidents in the future, and on the contrary may be counterproductive.

"People with HIV should feel able to disclose their HIV status without fear of rejection or discrimination."

The HIV charity George House Trust said the case set a "dangerous and frightening precedent for all people living with HIV."

In a statement it said: "Every adult has a responsibility for their own consenting sexual behaviour and for protecting themselves.

"Criminalising the transmission of HIV simply puts all of the responsibility on people living with the virus.

"HIV positive people already live with uncertainty, discrimination and stigma.

"This court case does absolutely nothing to improve public education about HIV. It does nothing to help create an environment where people with HIV can live without discrimination."

Chief executive Michelle Reid said: "This case means that people with HIV will now have to live with the fear of prosecution.

"It will mean fewer people being open about their HIV status; fewer people taking HIV tests because unless you¿re HIV status is known you cannot 'knowingly' infect someone and fewer people benefiting from support and health care.

"This is a dangerous step backwards to the climate of blame and ignorance of the 1980's."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"The women he infected could be dead within ten years"



SEE ALSO:
HIV man wins right to a retrial
05 May 04  |  London
'He played with my life'
14 Oct 03  |  London
Report warns of HIV catastrophe
08 Oct 03  |  Health



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