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The BBC's Andrew Cassell
"The jury took just two hours to convict him [Stephen Kelly]"
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The BBC's Leslie Anderson reports
"The case is the first of its kind in the UK"
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Friday, 23 February, 2001, 19:47 GMT
HIV man guilty of infecting girlfriend
Stephen Kelly
Stephen Kelly (centre) leaves the High Court in Glasgow
A man has been found guilty of recklessly infecting his former girlfriend with the human immunodeficiency virus in a landmark Scottish legal case.

Stephen Kelly, 33, of Provanmill, in Glasgow, had denied culpable and reckless conduct in having sex with 34-year-old Anne Craig.

However, a jury of 10 men and five women at the High Court in Glasgow found him guilty by a majority verdict following a nine-day trial.

After the verdict Miss Craig said: "I am delighted that justice has been done and hope this will be a deterrent to others."

Kelly was said to have had sex with Miss Craig several times between January and March 1994, despite knowing he was HIV positive.

Stephen Kelly
Stephen Kelly must await his sentence
The trial judge, Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, deferred sentence on Kelly until next month to allow social workers and doctors time to compile reports.

The court heard that Kelly had become HIV positive during a term in prison by injecting heroin.

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

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

She told the court that she had discussed contraception before having sex for the first time, but Kelly failed to tell her he was HIV positive.

It was only when Miss Craig began feeling unwell and took a blood test on 28 March 1994 that Kelly revealed the truth about his condition.

'Total disregard'

At first Kelly told her he believed he may have caught the virus from a previous girlfriend, but later confessed he had contracted it from sharing needles in prison.

The trial was the first prosecution under Scots law of someone deliberately transmitting the HIV virus to another person.

Lord Mackay told the jury before they retired that in order to convict Kelly they had to be certain that not only had he had unprotected sex with Miss Craig despite knowing he was HIV positive, but that he acted with "total disregard" for her health and well-being.

The case hinged on a conversation which the couple had just before their first sexual encounter, in which Miss Craig said she had raised the issue of sexually transmitted diseases.

Over the last few years I have fought to get my life back together but it can never be the same

Anne Craig
She alleged that Kelly had made no mention of his condition on that occasion, nor during the next three months of their relationship.

Kelly told police officers when interviewed that he had only been asked if he was "worried" about HIV, adding that he had been frank about his time in prison and the fact that he had injected heroin.

At first he alleged that he believed HIV was only transmittable by blood, but later in the interview he admitted he was aware it could be sexually transmitted and said he knew of the risks and consequences of HIV and Aids.

The court also heard from staff at Glenochil Prison, where Kelly had been detained, who said they had advised the accused following his positive HIV test about the dangers of having unprotected sex.


Miss Craig said: "If the verdict saves one life from the misery I have been through then it will all have been worthwhile.

"Over the last few years I have fought to get my life back together but it can never be the same.

"Similarly, the lives of my children, other family and close friends have been damaged and some of my relationships with them are beyond repair.

"I have not had a personal relationship since the one with Mr Kelly and it is unlikely I will ever have one. However, I am proud I have found the strength and courage to support the prosecution of Mr Kelly."

Kelly made no comment as he left the court building accompanied by his lawyer.

He has been placed on bail pending his return to court on 16 March for sentence.

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See also:

22 Feb 01 | Scotland
'No crime' claim in HIV trial
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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