Australian Court Jails Ugandan Man for Infecting Woman with HIV

2015 Views Melbourne VIC, Australia
A Uganda man living in Australia has been found guilty of knowingly infecting a woman with HIV. 44-year-old Zebtek Wepukhulu, a resident of Ivanhoe in Melbourne, was sentenced by a West Australian District Court today. Australian daily, The Herald Sun, reports that Wepukhulu pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in court in October. He admitted to having sex with a woman in 2007, well aware he had HIV. She later tested positive to the virus. The Herald Sun reports that Zebtek Wepukhulu had befriended the woman, a widow who had fled Sudan for Uganda before coming to Australia. He spoke to her in Swahili as she walked home from the train after her cleaning job in November 2007. A few days later Wepukhulu met her again while she was walking home from the train. He insisted on driving her home but instead took her to his home where they had sex. The court was told Wepukhulu, who had known he was HIV positive since 1993, did not wear a condom and did not tell the woman he had the virus. A victim impact statement from the woman that was read to the court said since being infected with the virus it had affected everything in her life. The Herald Sun reports that Zebtek Wepukhulu is an intelligent man, who holds a masters degree in education and had worked as a teacher in Uganda. He was counselled by the Australian Department of Health in 2002 after several reports he was having unprotected sex with women other than his wife. He was given comprehensive and clear evidence about the risk of unprotected sex and was told he must practice safe sex. The presiding judge, Allan Fenbury, said Wepukhulu had displayed extremely selfish behavior and his actions were both appalling and disgraceful. He sentenced the accused to four-and-a-half years in prison, saying it would deter other carriers of the HIV virus from not informing their sexual partners. On April 4th this year, another Ugandan man, Johnson Aziga, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Canada for murdering two women because he did not warn them that he had HIV before having unprotected sex. Aziga was found guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree, 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of attempted aggravated assault.

 

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