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    Vile pimp, 61, jailed for having unprotected sex with ‘more than 50 women’ despite having HIV

    Vile pimp, 61, who infected three of his prostitutes with HIV after having unprotected sex with more than 50 of them is jailed for 12 years over ‘unforgivable’ crimes that left victims wishing for death

    • John Rodney, 61, formerly from Swindon, Wiltshire, didn’t say he had HIV  
    • He was diagnosed in 2013 and claimed to not have had intercourse for a decade
    • Bristol Crown Court judge said he ‘brought misery to so many in his life’

    A pimp who infected three of his prostitutes with HIV and had sex with more than 50 other women without telling them he had the virus has been jailed for 12 years for the ‘misery he brought to so many in his life’. 

    Detectives launched an investigation into John Rodney, 61, formerly from Toothill, Swindon, in 2017 after a complaint from a woman who tested positive for HIV two years earlier following sex with him.

    Bristol Crown Court heard on Wednesday that police found Rodney had engaged in unprotected sex with numerous women over several years without informing them of his condition or taking the essential treatment.

    More than 50 women were approached by officers and health professionals.

    John Rodney, 61, formerly from Toothill, Swindon, was sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years in prison for failing to tell multiple women he had HIV before sleeping with them 

    Rodney, who appeared via video link, was diagnosed with the virus in 2013 and had been surprised to hear he had tested positive, the court heard.

    Charles Thomas, prosecuting, said that medical professionals reported Rodney was reluctant to say how many people had had slept with.

    He was also said to have only sporadically been taking medication intended to reduce the chance of him infecting others and claimed to not have had intercourse for a decade.

    Analysis by experts at the University of Oxford revealed that at least three women had contracted HIV having had unprotected sex with him. 

    The three women whose cases were put before the courts had had sex with Rodney in 2015 and 2016. Two had known the man since they were in their early teens. 

    During the hearing, one of Rodney’s victims told of the devastating impact her positive diagnosis had on her life – leading her to try to commit suicide multiple times.

    One of the women, referred to in court as P, told the hearing that Rodney had taken away her right to choose.

    She said: ‘The sad thing is this all could have been prevented. This did not need to happen to me and the other ladies affected, to our families and our children and their children.

    ‘We are all paying the price due to the one person’s lack of responsibility to himself and for another human being.’

    The woman said she had been shunned by her family and spoke of the stigma of her diagnosis. 

    She had also made a number of attempts on her life.

    The medication she was taking in order to treat the virus caused her hair, which she prized and had not cut since childhood, to fall out in clumps.

    It resulted in sickness akin to that suffered by those undergoing chemotherapy.

    She added: ‘I felt like I was dying. I started to pray to God that I would die because the pain and sickness was so intense.’

    Bristol Crown Court (pictured) heard police spoke to more than 50 women during their investigation into Rodney

    Bristol Crown Court (pictured) heard police spoke to more than 50 women during their investigation into Rodney

    Rodney had previously admitted three counts of grevious bodily harm by infecting three women with the virus earlier this year.

    Sending him to prison on Wednesday, a judge described Rodney’s grim actions as ‘unforgivable’.

    His sentence will be served concurrently to the five-year jail he is currently serving for breaching a sexual risk order banning him from paying for sex.        

    Peter Binder, defending, said his client had suffered from poor mental and physical health.

    While this was not an excuse for his behaviour, it explained the background to his offending.

    He had told prison staff of feeling suicidal, that he did not see a reason to take his medication and that he did not have anything to live for.

    Sentencing, Judge William Hart said: ‘What you did was in my judgement unforgivable.

    ‘Indeed, your appalling criminal record is a litany of disregard for the interests and wellbeing of other people.

    ‘You have brought misery to so many over the 60 years of your life.’

    Rodney was sentenced to eight years imprisonment, of which he must serve at least two thirds behind bars, and an extended licence period of four-and-a-half years.

    He has a poor criminal record, appearing before the courts on 29 previous occasions for offences including wounding with intent, drug supply and pimping.

    Detective Chief Inspector Helen Jacobs said: ‘At an early stage of the investigation, it was clear that Rodney posed a high risk to the public, in particular – although not exclusively, to vulnerable women in Swindon. We believe he was preying on these women for his own sexual needs.

    ‘He has destroyed the lives of a number of women who will require treatment for the rest of their lives.’

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