A convicted rapist from Northampton who knowingly infected a woman with HIV is being hunted by police after he failed to appear for his trial.
Brian Tatenda Shayanowako, aged 54, of Lower Adelaide Street, Semilong, Northampton, was convicted by jury and sentenced in his absence of one count of rape after failing to appear for his trial, which concluded on Friday at Aylesbury Crown Court.
Shayanowako was convicted of one count of assaulting a person thereby occasioning actual bodily harm against the rape victim after pleading guilty at a previous hearing on August 19 at Aylesbury Crown Court.
Shayanowako had also previously admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm by transmitting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to another woman.
The court heard, during 2002 while Shayanowako was living in Slough, he injured the woman by pouring boiling water over her, scalding her chest and abdomen. During 2003 he raped the same victim.
Shayanowako committed the offence of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) between 2006 and 2010. He had unprotected sexual intercourse with a woman while knowing his HIV status, but without declaring it to her or taking steps to prevent transmission.
Shayanowako was arrested for the GBH offence on 21 February 2011. He was arrested on suspicion of the rape and ABH on 25 October 2011 and was charged with the offences on October 7 last year.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said a warrant had been issued for Shayanowako’s arrest and officers are currently conducting enquiries “nationally and internationally” to attempt to locate him.
Speaking following the sentencing, the victim of the GBH has appealed for anyone else in a similar position to contact police.
The woman said: “If any person gets into my position they should not be afraid to get in contact with the police as from my experience they will get full support and will be treated with respect.
“The more this is reported, the more the people will realise the implications of their actions. Sexual health clinics also offer a lifeline, in terms of treatment and confidential advice and support.”
Shayanowako came to the UK in 2001 and has since lived in Slough and Milton Keynes, in addition to Northampton.
Speaking following the hearing, investigating officer Det Con Charlotte McDonald, said Shayanowako has committed “very serious” offences and the convictions sent out a message that the police would listen to victims and will deal “with the upmost sensitivity.”
Det Con McDonald said: “We do not seek to criminalise those who live with HIV and we work closely with our partner agencies to ensure people are appropriately supported. However this was a case in which someone has admitted recklessly transmitting HIV to another person.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the victims and the witnesses in this case for their bravery in speaking out against the defendant. It has been a very long, complex and intrusive investigation and this outcome could not have been achieved without the continuous co-operation and the evidence of the commendable victims.
“If you suspect you may have had sexual activity with someone which may have put you at risk of contracting HIV, you can get specialist advice and support and testing at your local sexual health or GUM clinic.”
Anyone with any information about Shayanowako’s whereabouts, is asked to contact the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101.
Although HIV cannot be cured, the life expectancy for people with HIV has improved rapidly over the last 20 years, due to modern treatments that help control the condition.
This means that the life expectancy for someone living with HIV, who is on anti-retroviral treatment and responding to treatment, is no different to the general population.
However, the life expectancy of people who are diagnosed with HIV will depend on several factors. These include how early the condition was diagnosed and how early treatment began, gender, and whether the person smokes, or misuse drugs or alcohol.