A HAIRDRESSER who deliberately tried to infect 10 men with HIV has been jailed for at least 12 years.

Daryll Rowe became the first man in the country to be found guilty of intentionally setting out to spread the virus after meeting the men on gay dating app Grindr.

Branded “grotesque” and a “sociopath” by his victims, the 27-year-old was convicted in November of 10 charges – five of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five of attempting to do so.

Rowe, wearing a grey suit and open-collared white shirt, showed no emotion as he was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years at Brighton Crown Court on Wednesday.

Judge Christine Henson QC, sentencing, referred to his crimes as a “determined hateful campaign of sly violence”.

She said: “You are the first individual to be sentenced for Section 18 offences in the context of infecting others with HIV. With the full knowledge of the risk you posed to others and the legal implications of engaging in risky sexual practices, you embarked on a deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus. Unfortunately for five of the men you met, your campaign was successful.”

The judge continued: “They describe living with a life sentence as a result of your cruel and senseless acts. Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you.”

She told Rowe he poses a significant risk to the public, adding: “You will potentially remain a danger to others for the rest of your life.”

After being diagnosed in April 2015 in his home city of Edinburgh, Rowe met men on gay dating app Grindr and had sex with eight of them in Brighton, East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, before fleeing to the North East where he went on the run from police, targeting two more.

His six-week trial heard he embarked on a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect men with HIV, refusing treatment and ignoring advice from doctors.

He insisted on having unprotected sex with men, claiming he was “clean”. When they refused, he tampered with condoms, tricking them into thinking he was practising safe sex. Afterwards he would become aggressive and taunt them over text, telling one: “I have HIV. Lol. Whoops!”