In the Media

Woman with HIV who deliberately took a string of lovers is jailed

PUBLISHED June 20, 2006

The first woman to be convicted in an English court of deliberately infecting a man with HIV was jailed for 32 months yesterday.

The first woman to be convicted in an English court of deliberately infecting a man with HIV was jailed for 32 months yesterday.
Sarah Porter, 43, encouraged four men in six months to have unprotected sex with her. One of them, a 31-year-old disc jockey and music promoter, has contracted the virus, which leads to Aids.

The detective who led the inquiry said he believed that if these men had multiple partners since sleeping with Porter, the damage she was known to have done might be "the tip of the iceberg".

Det Sgt Brian McLusky appealed for others to contact police if they thought they had been a sexual partner of the single mother from Kennington, south London. After the hearing, Det Sgt McLusky said Porter had refused to help identify other partners, of whom she is thought to have had dozens.

Police have no clue as to why she acted as she did because she gave them no statement at all.

Porter, the mother of a six-year-old son, worked as a receptionist at the Vidal Sassoon hair salon in Knightsbridge, central London.

Inner London Crown Court heard that she learned she was HIV positive in February 2000. She seems to have met most of her lovers at nightclubs, mostly among black DJs, other performers and people connected with them.

All four of the men, aged 31 to 36, who have been traced were black.

Only one, Porter's 31-year-old lover between 2001 and 2004, has proved to be HIV positive, but Judge Quentin Campbell said the life of that man, named only as Mr C, had been "devastated".

The judge read out a statement from Mr C after Porter admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. In it, Mr C said he had not realised that Porter was HIV positive. When he tested positive himself, he felt profoundly guilty.

He said she took a test, knowing what the result would be, and still failed to tell him that she was the source of the infection.

"I find it difficult to explain how I felt when I discovered she had unprotected sex with me knowing the risk she was putting me at," he said.

"Had she come clean at that stage, while I do not think I could have forgiven her I would have had a degree of respect for her."

Mr C said the disease and depression forced him to abandon an ambition to study graphic design.

Last year a 20-year-old woman was convicted in Newport, Gwent, of grievous bodily harm for infecting her boyfriend despite knowing she was HIV-positive.