An HIV-positive Australian man who tried to spread the virus sought to become his own version of the grim reaper, a judge said Friday.
Michael John Neal, 49, was sentenced to 18 years and nine months in jail, with a minimum of 13 years and nine months, the Herald Sun reports. He has already served two years and nine months.
He will be 61 before he is eligible for release, and did not react when sentenced.Neal was found guilty of 15 charges, including attempting to infect another person with HIV, rape and administering a drug for the purpose of sexual penetration.
A County Court jury cleared him of 11 other charges, including two counts of causing another person to be infected with HIV.
Neal, a grandfather from Coburg, was found guilty of trying to infect eight people with HIV and reckless conduct endangering three others between 2000 and 2006. He was diagnosed in June 2000.
County Court Judge David Parsons said today he believed Neal's chances of rehabilitation were only moderate.
"What is of some concern is there has been no apparent effort by you to grapple with your aberrant sexual proclivities," Judge Parsons said.
"This is the first prosecution of its type in Victoria and there's no doubt a very clear message has to be sent to the community in relation to this type of offending."
Judge Parsons said Neal was given repeated warnings by DHS about his sexual behaviour and simply ignored them. He denied his HIV status to his victims, misled them or told them he was HIV negative, Judge Parsons said.
He said there was little evidence of Neal's remorse.
"You sought to become your own version of the grim reaper," he said.