Man jailed after passing on HIV

A man who recklessly infected his Edinburgh lover with HIV and hepatitis C has been jailed for nine years.

Giovanni Mola refused to wear condoms after beginning a sexual relationship with a woman in Edinburgh in 2003.

Mola, 38, who claimed to have had 200 lovers, had been diagnosed with the viruses three years earlier.

The chef had denied culpably and recklessly failing to say he had HIV to the danger of the woman’s life but was convicted of the crime in February.

On Thursday at Glasgow High Court, Judge Lord Hodge said: “What you did to Miss X was chillingly callous and showed utter indifference to her.”

He also recommended Mola’s deportation after he serves his sentence.

His victim told at an eight-day trial at Glasgow High Court she felt she had been handed a “death sentence” by Mola when she was diagnosed herself.

By having unprotected sex with her between September 2003 and February 2004, he was also found guilty of endangering her life and her health.

Judge Lord Hodge described the chef’s indifference towards his partner as “deeply disturbing”.

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National Aids Trust, said the organisation was “particularly concerned at the severity of the sentence”.

“The trust does not condone Giovanni Mola’s actions in recklessly transmitting HIV to Miss X and strongly advises all people living with HIV to protect sexual partners from infection,” she said.

“However, it is important to understand that prosecuting people for reckless transmission of HIV is actually undermining efforts to stop the spread of HIV.

“Stigma and discrimination around HIV is increasing as people living with HIV are cast as criminals, making it even more difficult for them to tell other people.

“Prosecutions are also undermining efforts to encourage people to take responsibility for their own sexual health by implying it is the sole responsibility of the person living with HIV to have safer sex.”

Roy Kilpatrick, chief executive of HIV Scotland, also said the sentence was severe.

“Every case has to be considered on its own merits but prosecutions should only happen in the most extreme and exceptional circumstances,” he said.

“Generally, prosecutions run counter to the interests of public health in Scotland.

“We have built up a culture of voluntary testing in this country and we have concerns that this case will discourage people from being tested and learning their status because they are scared of prosecution.”

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