Man attacks partner over HIV

Publish Date: 18/12/2007

David Summers, 26, of Rastrick, West Yorkshire, attacked his victim after learning he was put at risk to HIV by their one night stand.

Summers was originally jailed for life, with a six year minimum term, at Bolton Crown Court in July after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Judges at London's Criminal Appeal Court have now overturned the life sentence after Summers' Barrister, James Ward, argued the case.

Mr Ward told the court: "The victim knowingly concealed from him the fact that he had HIV and put this appellant at a direct risk from that disease.

Mr Ward argued that Summers only acted as he did under extreme provocation, as the victim "deceitfully exposed him to risk of infection with HIV."

Lord Justice Richards, sitting with Mr Justice Openshaw and Judge Martin Stephens QC, allowed the appeal, imposing an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection in place of the original life sentence.
The judge said: "The victim had put him at a direct and very serious risk of contracting a terminal illness.

"When he realised he had slept with a man who was HIV positive he must have been shocked.

"But I cannot believe that any court would be properly discharging its public duty if it realistically could licence or permit an attack of this brutality."

Although Summers was ruled as dangerous, Lord Justice Richards concluded: "We don't consider this offence so serious to warrant a life sentence."