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Monday, 9 June 2008

Australia: Stuart McDonald case further delayed

The trials of Stuart McDonald – the Adelaide man accused of criminal HIV transmission, and who is yet to plead to allegations that he infected eight men with HIV in 2005 and 2006 - has been delayed a further eight weeks, following a joint application from the Crown and defence seeking more time for medical reports.

(click here for a page refresh with all of my blog postings on the Stuart McDonald case)

Given that all of the accused are gay men he alleged met on gay dating site, Gaydar, I think it highly unlikely that the Crown will be able to prove that McDonald, and only McDonald, could have infected them with HIV - as long as he has good defence counsel.

A recent case in the UK (which has not been reported) was dismissed before it went to trial following similar allegations. Key to the dismissal was a clued-in defence lawyer who explained to the judge the limitations of scientific evidence, as outlined here.

Story from The Adeleide Advertiser below.

More delays in court case of alleged HIV predator Stuart McDonald
May 30, 2008

The case against alleged HIV sex predator Stuart McDonald has been delayed once again, this time until August.

The 42-year-old - accused of deliberately and recklessly infecting eight men - was due to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today and enter pleas.

However, prosecution and defence made a joint application that the case be adjourned for eight weeks.

John Wells, for the Crown, said there were outstanding medical reports and other materials yet to be provided to defence counsel.

McDonald is yet to plead to allegations he infected eight men with HIV between January, 2005, and the middle of 2006.

He allegedly lied to some of the men, whom he met through the Gaydar website, about the virus before having sex with them.

He also faces charges of common assault and threatening life.

Psychiatric reports on the court file say McDonald has a narcissistic personality and was dismissive about infecting others, saying "that's their problem".

They further claim he poses a "significant risk" of having sex with men if left unsupervised.

Despite those fears, McDonald was in February released from a bail agreement that had him living with a family of four.

He successfully argued the arrangement was ruining the family's social life, as he was sleeping in their dining room.

McDonald was given permission by the court to live on his own, but told to attend court when required.

Magistrate Alfio Grasso today remanded McDonald on continuing bail.



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