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Thursday, 22 February, 2001, 17:09 GMT
'No crime' claim in HIV trial
Stephen Kelly is on trial is at the High Court in Glasgow
Stephen Kelly denies the charges
A court has been told that a Glasgow man accused of knowingly infecting his girlfriend with HIV should not be convicted because no crime has been committed.

Donald Findlay, QC, said 33-year-old Stephen Kelly and his former lover Anne Craig, 34, were both victims in what he described as the most distressing of cases.

In the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Kelly, of Provanmill, denies culpable and reckless conduct by having sex with Miss Craig several times between January and March 1994 while knowing he was infected with HIV.

In his closing address to the jury in defence of Kelly, Mr Findlay described the former's whirlwind relationship with Miss Craig as "a marriage made in hell".

Mr Findlay said the case should be dismissed because Miss Craig knew about the dangers of having sexual intercourse with Kelly.

If anybody else had given her that advice, it would have been irresponsibility verging on the criminal

Donald Findlay QC

Mr Findlay said: "There may be pain, there may be distress, there may be tragedy in all this, but what there is not is a crime."

The court heard that Kelly - who became HIV positive during a term in prison by injecting heroin - did not tell Miss Craig of his status before they had sex for the first time, despite learning he had the virus 18 months beforehand.

The pair first had sex just hours after meeting at a party in Glasgow and began a relationship days afterwards.

Warning signs

Miss Craig later felt unwell and went for an HIV test after Kelly told her he was infected.

Mr Findlay alleged Miss Craig had learned enough about his sexual history before they went to bed to know that unprotected sex with Kelly would be dangerous.

Kelly told her he had been promiscuous in the past, had used heroin and had spent time in prison.

Yet she failed to heed the warnings and convinced herself there was no danger, according to Mr Findlay.

He said: "If anybody else had given her that advice, it would have been irresponsibility verging on the criminal.

"Nobody in their sane and sober senses would give that advice to themselves."

Donald Findlay QC
Donald Findlay: Kelly has committed no crime
Mr Findlay said Miss Craig had only pursued Kelly through the courts because she sought to blame him for her life's downward turn following her infection.

He said Miss Craig had been torn between continuing the relationship and looking after her three children.

Mr Findlay said: "What you have to believe and be satisfied of is that Anne Craig's account is true. If you are not satisfied of that beyond reasonable doubt, then this prosecution is at an end."

Earlier, advocate-depute James Drummond Young QC, prosecuting, told the jury Kelly had lied to Miss Craig about his HIV status in spite of knowing what the effect would be.

'Clearly knew'

He said Kelly had been advised by medical staff at Glenochil prison about the dangers of having unprotected sex with him.

He said nurses told the court Kelly had "shown intelligence" in understanding the consequences of his actions.

Mr Young said: "The question you have to answer is whether Mr Kelly knew what the risk was of contracting HIV through unprotected sexual intercourse.

"Mr Kelly clearly knew what he was doing and that there was a serious risk of harm to Miss Craig, but he did it anyway, not caring for the danger which came to pass."

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

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See also:

21 Feb 01 | Scotland
Court hears HIV 'admission'
20 Feb 01 | Scotland
Woman 'did not condemn' HIV man
16 Feb 01 | Scotland
Woman denies knowing man had HIV
15 Feb 01 | Scotland
Boyfriend revealed he had HIV
14 Feb 01 | Scotland
HIV man 'given safe sex warning'
13 Feb 01 | Scotland
HIV 'infection' trial begins
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