Man jailed for 8 years after infecting women with HIV


A man who infected three women with HIV through unprotected sex - despite knowing he had the disease - has been jailed.

John Nehemiah Rodney, 60, was charged with three grievous bodily harm offences and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment plus four-and-a-half years on extended licence at Bristol Crown Court after changing his plea to guilty in January.

Despite being made aware that he had HIV in August 2013, Rodney had sexual relationships with numerous women over several years without telling them about his condition.

The offences were committed even though Rodney had been warned by his doctor not to have unprotected sex as he could be prosecuted for spreading the disease.

Police inquiries began in 2017 when a woman complained she had contracted HIV after having unprotected sex with Rodney, of Toothill, Swindon.

More than 50 women were approached as part of the investigation, which involved Swindon Borough Council, Great Western Hospital and Public Health England. Three women were found to have been infected with HIV as a result.

Ian Harris of the CPS, said: “Rodney showed a complete and reckless disregard for his victims.

“He knew failing to take his medication would make him much more infectious and by having unprotected sex, there was a significant risk he would pass the infection on. He chose to ignore these risks and his selfishness has had a devastating impact on his victims.

“This was an exceptionally complex case to prosecute. The use of grievous bodily harm charges relating to the transmission of a virus are highly unusual and rare.

“As the grievous bodily harm cannot be seen in the same way as, for example, a stab wound, it is inevitable that detailed scientific and medical evidence will need to be used at any trial.

“We were able to prove the women did not know of Rodney’s diagnosis when they had sex with him.

“The CPS would like to thank the bravery and courage of victims and witnesses for coming forward which helped enormously in securing this conviction.

“Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families and friends, as they have been throughout this case.”

The case was strengthened by expert evidence from a medical academic who established the timing of the infection through blood samples and then how this linked directly to Rodney having unprotected sex with victims.

Video evidence was also seized from his home which showed him having unprotected sex with a female victim after he was diagnosed with HIV.

Notes to editors

  • Ian Harris is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex
  • John Nehemiah Rodney (DOB: 12.05.59) was sentenced to 32 months' imprisonment plus 18 months' extended licence for each offence - giving a total of eight years in custody and four-and-a-half years on extended licence.
  • More information on Intentional or Reckless Sexual Transmission of Infection

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