Knowingly spreading HIV

This subject is one which I find so completely abhorrent, and yet I feel it necessary for it to be aired.

What kind of person, knowing that they are HIV positive, delberately and systematically goes about trying to infect as many others as possible with the virus.

Personally I have known a number of friends who have died from this illness.

This sort of behaviour is just beyond the realms of belief, or is it…?

An HIV positive grandfather found guilty of having unprotected sex with gay men “preyed” on victims who were vulnerable because of their risk-taking behaviour, a judge has said.
Michael Neal, 50, was found guilty by a Victorian County Court jury in July of rape and trying to infect another person with HIV.

The court heard during his trial that he bragged about infecting 75 people and told one of his partners he “gets off” on infecting people.

During a pre-sentence hearing on Wednesday, Neal’s barrister George Georgiou said risky sexual behaviour among gay men was commonplace.

“It is clear from all that has been said and done in this trial that in the particular sub-culture of which Mr Neal was a member, risky sexual behaviour was a prominent feature,” Mr Georgiou said.

He went through some of the charges on which Neal was convicted, disputing parts of the evidence, drawing a rebuke from Judge David Parsons.

“What is the point of saying that these people indulged in risky behaviour, that somehow they’re at fault?” he said.

“The point is that he should not try and infect them with HIV.

“In a sense he knows that he is preying on people that are even more vulnerable.”

Judge Parsons said he had “little sympathy” for Mr Georgiou’s reasoning.

“The trouble with all those submissions, it is not indicative of some kind of remorse,” Judge Parsons said.

“People take a risk when they walk across a road not at an intersection, it is silly behaviour, but people do it.”

Neal, formerly of the Melbourne suburb of Coburg, shook his head during the rebuke, prompting Judge Parsons to ask Mr Georgiou to tell Neal to stop shaking his head.

Earlier, Mr Georgiou told the court that Neal, a father of three and grandfather of four, married at 19, but his marriage broke down from the strain of a still-born child.

He said Neal suffered a nervous breakdown after the marriage failed and began a “homosexual lifestyle” in about 1992 or 1993.

Mr Georgiou said Neal contracted HIV in June 2000.

Prosecutor Mark Rochford said nobody had been sentenced by a Victorian court for knowingly spreading HIV.

“This is the first person in Victoria to be convicted of these types of offences,” Mr Rochford said.


Judge Parsons adjourned the pre-sentence hearing to December 9.

As joni often says, my heart bleeds at man’s inhumanity. What sort of creature knowlingly spreads HIV? All too common I suspect in inner city Sydney..



17 Responses

  1. I had a mate who was drugged and then raped. Subsequently they found out the rapist was HIV +ve. Luckily, my friend took PEP and fortunately was OK in the end.

    I am not so sure of the statement that there is a “sub-culture” – there very well could be, but I have never heard about it.

  2. This man seems to think he has the right to murder his sexual partners by deliberately infecting them with HIV. Go figure. There’s some sort of twisted reasoning in his mind to justify this behaviour, I guess. IMO, it puts him in company with John Bunting, Ivan Milat and Christopher Worrall to name a few.

  3. This kind of idiot is why homophobia is still so common place in 2008! What a pathetic excuse for a human being!

  4. Although there is a suggestion that this is some sort of warped “game” as in gets off through infecting people, to me and from the description of the life of the perpetrator, it is revenge. I lost my child and my marriage failed, somebody infected me and now I’m going to try to infect as many people as I can. In this respect it is with full knowledge as so on a par with murder and this crime should be treated the same as drunk driving where there is a fatality. I’ll be interested to read about the penalty that this person receives.

  5. By definition he is a psychopath and possibly a sadist as well. Sadistic Psychopaths really are scary bears, there are lots of psychopaths running around but the one’s who are sadistic as well are the one’s you really need to watch out for.

    Imagine it, the thing that makes you feel great, most excited, most stimulated and really gets you going with a flood of endorphins is actually hurting people! – truly scary stuff

  6. min

    I think that you are right, this has nothing to be with being gay or HIV… it is just that he is evil and wants to hurt people.

    Both threads today have put me in a very depressed mood. I need something to remind me that there is good somewhere in this world.

  7. I think he going away for a very, very long time. 10+

  8. What makes this case worse, is that Michael Neal’s GP was aware of Neal’s HIV status AND that he was engaging in unsafe sex with multiple partners, yet did not contact police due to medical practioner – patient confidentiality.

    I’m not sure whether the law has sinced been changed.

    Apparantly it is against the law to have unsafe sex with someone if you’re HIV positive without disclosing your HIV status. In reality, I wonder whether that ever really happens.

  9. Joni, the sharemarket is up 3%


  10. He is nothing short of a serial murderer.

  11. another girl. I am sure that his defence lawyer might go with that one, a psychopath and thereby invoke the defence of insanity. I am going with the fact that he was sane and knew exactly what he was doing.

  12. Joni, if you want to know if there is good in the world, all you need to do is to look in the mirror. Love and hugs (squishy of course) Min.

  13. reb..I’m not certain whether it’s law or not to have to declare one’s HIV status. In fact I have a feeling that it might be illegal for a person to be coerced into having to declare this fact, for example in a job application.

    The problem isn’t being HIV positive, the problem is unsafe sex which allowed the Neal person to be able to exploit others.

  14. min – no, its not a defense.

    Psychopathy and psychotic are not the same thing

    He knew exactly what he was doing, he simply doesn’t care, in fact, it’s the very act itself that he enjoys. If was psychotic at the time he might have a defense because then the question arises that he might not be responsible for his actions.

    Thats not the case here

  15. another girl. I think that you will find that both are part of the insanity defense in all common law countries with criteria specified under the DSM-IV.

    However, under criminal law the defense of insanity is used sparingly as one could end up locked up for far longer than if one pleads guilty to say manslaughter.

    I am expecting (hoping) that Neal’s actions will be held on a par with manslaughter. It should be murder due to mens rea, but I’ll settle for a manslaughter conviction.

  16. A study by Harvard researchers has found that Thabo Mbeki’s denial of the viral cause of AIDS caused the pre-mature death of more than 365,000 people.

    In my eyes, this makes him just as bad as the guy in the story above.

  17. Joni, he’s worse imo. It’s murder on an industrial scale and he should be tried as a mass murderer, along with his enablers. They are a disgrace.
    I just hope that the new government doesn’t back peddle and condemn even more people to die when there’s no need.

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