Five years Jail for passing on STDs?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Iolis, Jan 23, 2007.

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  1. The Daily Mail reports:

    “People who recklessly infect their partner with a sexually transmitted disease could soon be jailed for up to five years.

    Those who do not warn their lover they have chlamydia, syphilis or herpes will be targeted under proposals from the Crown Prosecution Service.

    The crack down, due to be unveiled by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald next month, will also focus on hepatitis, gonorrhea and other sexual infections, in addition to those who transmit the HIV/Aids virus.”

    Mohammed Dica became the first man in the United Kingdom to be sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for Grievous Bodily Harm as a result of infecting two woman with HIV after unprotected sex and the CPS have published a draft policy for the prosecution of such offences.

    The government are clearly keen to add to those currently in Police Cells across the country who are waiting for a place to become available in one of Her Majesty’s hotels, currently over-subscribed with nearly 80,000 guests.

    I do not know whether this information may be considered relevant to posting authorities administering BMATT tours and for others who are looking forward to R&R at the usual haunts on (if such exercises still still exist) EX GRAND PRIX and POND JUMP (no pun intended).

    Regards and best wishes
  2. Something worrying you?

    Pond Jump is no more
  3. I'm, worried about each of my fingers having to occupy the same cell! :pissedoff:

  4. I thought that anyone knowingly attempting to pass on any form of STD to another person was already considered to have committed GBH or ABH or at least some form of common assault/battery and covered by those laws? Surely this prosecution policy is then unnecessary as they have a "policy" by law. Or have they been trying to work on a "pray and don't say" procedure so far? Iolis?
  5. The CPS has discretion is whether or not to prosecute via the application of an evidential and a public interest test. I guess the CPS is trying to clarify its stance on intentional xmission of STDs and I do not think its a bad thing.

    A non-story. Wonder why the daily mail picked up on it?
  6. Up until Dica, it could not be said that a person could possibly be guilty of an offence of inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm contrary to section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 where there was no assault and the victim consented to sexual intercourse and in so doing consenting to the risk of contacting a disease as a result of that consent.

    The Court of Appeal held that a defendant, knowing that he was suffering a serious sexual disease and who then recklessly transmitted it to another through consensual sex, could be guilty of an offence under s20.

    What the CPS appear to be consulting on, and appear to be on the verge of announcing, are those circumstances under which it would be prepared to prosecute for assault against an individual, although, contrary to what the Mail suggests, the sentence imposed is not up to the CPS whose function is to determine the evidential and other factors required to bring a prosecution.

    It is also interesting that in Dica, the man was knowingly carrying around with him an extremely dangerous disease. What the CPS appear to be contemplating, are the factors which would influence their decision to prosecute in respect of diseases which although nasty and unpleasant, such as Herpes, are, nevertheless, not life threatening.

    Regards and best wishes
  7. Sorry Scabster,our posts crossed!

  8. NP, I am rather out of touch with the criminal law now so appreciate a more current pov!
  9. Whilst passing on STI's is not a particularly pleasant activity, I do wonder whether criminalising this sort of behaviour is sensible in anyway, or just another example of the current authoritiarian desire to involve the police in every aspect of what was previosuly people's private lives. Surely in a medical context, an employee who knowingly travels on a busy train, or into a busy office, whilst infected with the flu virus is far more likely to cause harm to others than certain minor STIs? Someone who deliberately infects others with HIV is surely different to some slapper (M or F) who unwittingly picks up gonorrhea? Does society need the CPS to intervene in choosing sexual partners, or should we rely, as people have for centuries, on judgement and a bit of luck? We are talking about sex between consenting adults, after all.

    I can see, however, that an infected party can be seen as wronged, but would not a civil route be more sensible for this - so it were easier to sue past amours for their negligence?

  10. Problem is that HIV (obviously), syphilis (big rise in the number of cases recently and a fatal illness if not treated) and chlamydia (can cause infertility in women) are not 'minor' STDs, they all can have very serious consequences.

    Whislt clearly the CPS shouldn't get involved where partners don't know, if one partner does and uses it to deliberately attempt to infect someone else then I think that's fine.
  11. Can you imagine going into your local cop shop to report it? Or the the RMP station?!
  12. Deliberate infection - undoubtedly, yes; that is clear assault. I thought this change in law was also to cover negligent infection ie had sex whilst knowingly infected (including with a condom) but didn't do so with the intention to pass on infection but just, presumably through ignorance/laziness? This is rather different to malicious infection IMHO. I take your point about the seriousness of the infections, but my point is that criminal law is not used for other, equally serious infectious diseases passed on negligently, so why for sexual ones? If criminal intent can be established then fine, but I thought the CPS were going a bit further.

    The health lobby have been reported as being opposed since infection will attract further stigma and put off those seeking treatment. They may well be right.
  13. The army is already way understrength as it is. Banging (scuse pun) 70% of the remaining squaddies in the glasshouse is going to further diminish our manpower.
  14. I can quite understand punishment for passing on a death sentence to others.

    So, promiscuous person visits gyno, out comes syringe etc etc. Police informed, interview taken, would possibly follow this line:-

    Q. Who have you slept with in the last 2 weeks?

    A. Well, 2 weeks today, person A, 12 days ago person B, 5 days ago person C ..................

    Would the force then spend time and personnel chasing up individuals to have them visit a specialist for a check up, match the same disease passed on before charging? You cannot be charged if there is no evidence!

    Then the other side, if an individual is infected and is not aware, then sleeps with a different individual. What class of assault would this be graded? Is it really Reckless if the infectee is not aware?

    I would like to read the policy and how it is going to be policed.

  15. Surely the word 'willfully' needs to be read before 'infecting?'

    If the carrier is unaware they carry STD when they copulate then there can be no offence - if they are aware then they will have been either 'reckless' or 'willful.'