Ghanaian man 23, jailed for intentionally infecting lovers with HIV

Japhet Osei

A callous lover who told two girlfriends he had no STDs before infecting them with HIV has been jailed for five years.

Japhet Osei, of Reading, Berkshire, refused drugs to treat the infection before sleeping with the women – one of whom was just 17 – without protection.

The 23-year-old showed one victim text message purporting to prove he did not have HIV and encouraged her to have without him wearing a condom, Reading Crown Court heard.

He kept secret not only that he was HIV positive, but also that he had a particularly high viral count which meant it was more likely he would infect partners through unprotected sex.

Both women fell ill not long after sex with Osei and tests showed he had passed the virus onto each of them.

Judge Angela Morris said Osei had ‘lied, lied and lied again’ after he admitted two counts of causing grievous bodily harm.

Jailing him for five years, the judge said: ‘We are not living in the 1980s where everyone was ignorant of the effects of this disease and running around in a panic. This is 30 years later.

‘You were provided with expertise, assistance and the opportunity for treatment for the terrible disease you knew you carried and you refused it.

Despite your knowledge of your medical condition you embarked on a sexual relationship. Your actions are totally inexcusable.’

Alan Blake, prosecuting, said Osei had been diagnosed with the deadly virus in February 2014 as a 19-year-old.

Over the next year he returned to a sexual health clinic with other sexually transmitted diseases and each time told staff he was not ready to tell his family or start anti-viral medication.

‘In the Spring of 2015 he formed a new relationship with [the first victim], who was 17 at the time… the assumption was he was clean.

‘In June 2015, she started feeling unwell, throat pain, aching, difficulty to pass urine and stomach cramps.

‘Concerned she had a urinary tract infection, she was then diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease and was offered an HIV test which came back positive.

‘She said she would never have consented to unprotected sex if she had known.’

Just weeks later, Osei started another sexual relationship with a 20-year-old woman.

The prosecutor said: ‘He then persuaded her to have unprotected sex by telling her that if she was truly his girlfriend he would not need to use a condom.

‘She felt uncomfortable but Osei reassured her by telling her he had been treated recently and showed her a text message purporting to show he had had the all clear.’

In August 2015, the second victim also started to feel unwell and was diagnosed in the September as being HIV positive.

At university, she was then diagnosed with depression because of the impact of finding out about the disease

Both women had been responding well to anti-viral medication, the court heard.

Gavin Holme, defending, said Osei had now taken control of his condition and was on anti-viral medication.

Source: Graphic