AN Irish woman is at the centre of a sensational court case in Australia after she accused a married man of deliberately infecting her with HIV while she was on holiday in Sydney.
The man was charged last week by Australian police on two counts of "maliciously causing a person to contract a grievous bodily disease".
Stanislas Kanengele-Yondjo, a 41-year-old native of Congo who has Australian citizenship, was already in jail on a fraud charge and was refused bail by Penrith local court in Sydney on the basis that he posed a serious health risk to the community.
Health officials from New South Wales told the court that they intended to issue a public health order against the man, whom police described as promiscuous.
The Irish woman had come forward to report KanengeleYondjo to the police in Sydney after she discovered that she had contracted the disease a few weeks after returning home to Ireland.
In January 2003, the Irish woman began a relationship with Kanengele-Yondjo, who had been married to an Australian woman for four years.
She told police that he had insisted on having unprotected sex, but he had reassured her that because he went to the Congo every year, he took regular HIV tests and was free of the disease.
But police said in court that Kanengele-Yondjo was tested positive for HIV as far back as 1999, and had failed to inform his partners ? a serious offence under Australian law.
The man began a second relationship with a German tourist three months later in March 2003, but continued the sexual relationship with the Irish woman at the same time.
Both women fell ill after sex with the man, displaying symptoms akin to glandular fever. The Irish woman returned home to Ireland and was diagnosed with HIV in June 2003.
The German woman was also diagnosed with HIV around the same time.
In refusing KanengeleYondjo bail, the judge said:
"No conditions I could impose upon you will ensure that you will not re-offend. If that happened, the consequences of that would not become apparent until some months down the track . . . with dire consequences for the victims." The trial resumes on 11 June.