A woman has told a court of when she told her previous sexual partner that he may have infected her with HIV. It is alleged that Leslie Pringle had unprotected sex often with the woman despite knowing he was HIV positive. Pringle is on trial for Grevious Bodily Harm for deliberately infecting someone with the HIV virus.
The woman (being known as X in the case) has been giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court from behind screens in the trial. She said: “Rage was the only word I can use. I’m a very calm and quite private person and I don’t think I have ever felt like that before. The deceit just beggars belief.” X went on to tell the court that she has asked Pringle if “he could remember a time I was really ill, which I believe is when I was infected”. (HIV+ people often develop symptoms within a few weeks on infection very similary to the common cold). She told the court “He said he couldn’t remember. I asked him if he had given a list of names of previous partners to the authorities so other people are allowed the help I had. He didn’t reply….I asked him about a particular person who died of leukaemia some years ago and whether he had informed her he was HIV positive…..He said he didn’t tell me because he was not dealing with it. He said ‘I just was not dealing with it….I said quite a few unpleasant things in the heat of the moment. I tried to slap him across the face and he caught my wrist and told me to calm down.”
X said she believed that her relationship with Pringle was one of love and trust, but that after they split up she started to feel very unwell and was off work for a week. X said she would have supported him through his condition, but that he had kept it secret from her.
She said: “The irony of it is he says he didn’t tell me because he was frightened he would lose me….If he had told me I would have thought he was a very, very brave man and would have supported him in any way I could.”
X said she had an STD test when she started a new relationship. She said: “When I got the results over the phone at home I was told it was bad news with regard to the HIV test and that it was positive….I collapsed and the person delivering the news was so concerned they asked me to go to a clinic to talk about it.”
Pringle who pleaded not guilty has been convicted.
Better2Know provides you with HIV tests at its network of clinics across the country (including four in Newcastle). When you start a new relationship we suggest that both partners get tested before you stop using condoms.