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R v Konzani

[2005] 2 Cr. App. R. 14

Case summary last updated at 14/01/2020 17:53 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Konzani

A man had unprotected sex with three women and didn’t tell them that he was HIV positive. He had infected all of them, but submitted that in agreeing to unprotected sex, they had consented to the risk. Judge ruled that there could be no consent unless it was “informed and willing” and he was convicted. CA supported trial judge and dismissed the appeal. Judge LJ agreed with prosecution that there was a difference between “running a risk” (as in this case) and “consenting to that risk” (as expounded by CA in Dica). Simply because one runs a risk does not mean the person who harms them shouldn’t be punished e.g. if I walk down the street waving wads of cash in the air there is a high probability that someone will steal them, but this does not mean that a crime has not occurred. The distinction is correct: a risk taken with consent is one where the decision is informed and the person understands to what they are agreeing. Simply taking a risk is not informed- they may have believed, as said in court by the plaintiffs, that they had no reason to believe he was HIV positive and, had they been informed, they would not have had unprotected sex with him. It is like duelling: one runs the risk of being killed but this will not stop the killer being convicted of murder.

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