MAKO - Australian News - Stuart James McDonald

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HIV man Stuart McDonald jailed for unprotected sex

Stuart McDonald outside the Adelaide District Court.

Authorities branded HIV-positive man Stuart James McDonald a predator with an uncontrollable sexual appetite.
They claimed he was a delusional, deceitful and manipulative HIV-positive man with narcissistic traits and a heightened sense of entitlement.
After six years of hearings, the Supreme Court yesterday jailed him for almost seven years, with a four-year non-parole period.
Justice Margaret Nyland ruled McDonald had recklessly, not deliberately, infected his two victims with the chronic illness.
She backdated his minimum term to April 2010 - when he was arrested for allegedly approaching witnesses and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
McDonald, 43, was found guilty by a jury of two counts of endangering life, and acquitted of five other counts.
Justice Nyland directed an eighth count be dismissed.
In sentencing yesterday, she said the case at trial "was always" that he had recklessly infected the men between March and August 2005.
She said the victims "took great care" of their sexual health and had regular testing for infection.
McDonald told both men he did not have the virus - which he was diagnosed in 1998 as having contracted.
Justice Nyland said the first man agreed to have protected sex with McDonald, but noticed the condom being used "had rolled down ... in the heat of the moment".
She said the man continued the sex act, trusting McDonald had told the truth about his health.
Two months later, he tested positive for HIV.
"(The second victim) is more complicated," Justice Nyland said.
"You offered him a drink, which he thought was scotch and water ... and some marijuana."
The man eventually blacked out and woke up to find McDonald having sex with him.
"He did not have the energy to push you away," said Justice Nyland.
That man tested positive for HIV in March 2006.
Both victims, Justice Nyland said, had been left "devastated".
"Although both offences are very serious, I propose to sentence you for (the first offence) on the basis there was a degree of spontaneity about what happened," she said.
"The (second) situation is more serious ... It's clear you took advantage of him at a time where he was completely unable to do anything to protect his (non-)HIV status."
She said McDonald had had a difficult life, including an abusive father, learning difficulties and the death of his first boyfriend.
"In custody, you have suffered verbal and physical abuse ... you were physically injured ... "
She said the offences deserved an eight-year term, reduced to seven years and 10 months on account of time spent in custody.
McDonald has lodged appeals.

www.adelaidenow.com.au (8-4-2011)
Sean Fewster

HIV victims tell court of 'betrayal'

Two men who were tricked into having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive man have told the South Australian Supreme Court they felt betrayed, embarrassed and depressed since.
Stuart James McDonald was convicted of endangering the lives of two of his sexual partners and acquitted at trial of a further six counts.
The court heard he deceived men and lied about his HIV status.
In a statement read to the court, one victim said he felt betrayed by McDonald.
"Prior to being diagnosed with HIV, I was outgoing, confident and had career ambitions," he told the court.
"I still suffer from periods of depression and anxiety in public and this is something I am going to have to work on if I am ever going to get my life back on track."
He said he had always taken responsibility for his sexual health and felt betrayed by McDonald's lies.
"You of all people understand what I am going through. I am most hurt that you took advantage of the state I was in," he said.
The other victim's statement said: "I have suffered terribly from stress and depression.
"I now find it hard to socialise and be with other human beings and my day-to-day life has become complicated."
He said he felt embarrassed, had suffered from loss of sleep and appetite and also had horrible side-effects from medication he was taking.
Defence lawyers said the court could not be satisfied McDonald was the one who infected the men with HIV, but prosecutors disagreed.
They said McDonald has taken no responsibility for his actions and could keep posing a danger to the community.
Prosecutor Sandi McDonald said Stuart McDonald's statements about his HIV status had "an element of deceit and trickery".
"The need to protect the community, that is a matter that should cause Your Honour some concern.
"This is a man who still refuses to take responsibility for his actions. That does not go well in terms of his attitude towards the protection of other members of the community in the future."
McDonald will be sentenced later.

www.adelaidenow.com.au (10-3-2011)

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