This guidance sets out how prosecutors should deal with cases involving an allegation of intentional or reckless sexual transmission of, or exposure to, infection which has serious, potentially life threatening consequences for the person infected.
In developing this guidance, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has consulted with the public health sector and has benefited substantially from their input and expertise.
Their advice has been greatly appreciated, however, the content of this policy statement remains the responsibility of the COPFS. There have been very few prosecutions in Scotland involving intentional or reckless transmission of, or exposure to, sexually transmitted infection. Although previous prosecutions have involved HIV infection, this policy is not restricted to HIV and applies to any sexual infection which could have serious, potentially life threatening consequences for the person infected.
Annex A provides details of previous prosecutions. The prosecution of Mark Deveraux in 2010, for the culpable and reckless transmission of, and exposure to, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attracted some concern from the public health and HIV sector due to the prosecution of charges where there was no transmission of the infection to the victim. One concern was that the threat of prosecution, particularly in circumstances where no resultant infection occurs, could prevent people at risk from sexually transmitted infection coming forward for testing.