'He destroyed my life,' says victim

For a group of colleagues it was an office Christmas party like any other.

But for one of them, the evening's fun in a south London nightclub was to leave a sentence of death hanging over her head.

"I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said the tearful mother-of-two.

For the tall, smartly-dressed admirer who first bought her a drink and then won her heart, had a cruel secret - HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that leads to Aids.

"He destroyed my life," she sobbed. "If only I could turn the clock back I would.

"If he had been honest from the beginning I'd never have had an affair with him. I'd have run a mile."

The thirty-something woman, who can only be identified as Deborah, was speaking after former lover Mohammed Dica became the first person in England and Wales for 137 years to be successfully prosecuted for passing on a sexually transmitted disease.

When they met she was in a long-term relationship that was fading fast.

But in Dica she saw "the man of my dreams" and within weeks they were lovers.

"Basically everything I wanted was in that man ... I would have done anything for him."

The father-of-three, who pretended he was separated from his wife, wooed her with endless declarations of love, marriage and more children.

"He was like a prince in shining armour, saying all the right things. He was a lawyer, a Gulf War veteran, and so on.

"One day he said to me, 'Look at that person in the street. What do you think of them?'

"I said, 'You can't judge a person by their looks'.

"He replied: 'I'm so glad you said that'.

"I was going through a bad time. He was there, getting me through things.

"I thought this was the person for me."

Deborah could not have been more wrong.

Dica did not take long to convince her to leave her partner.


But no sooner had she done so than he disappeared.

About the same time her health started to deteriorate. From there it was only a matter of time to the "devastating" diagnosis that she was HIV positive.

At first she could barely think straight, but knew the one thing she had to do was find the man who had done this to her.

One of his friends then confided he was seriously ill in a hospital.

Still reeling from shock she began working her way through the telephone directory. Eventually she found him.

He claimed the doctors could not diagnose his condition.

"I thought he really needs help and it would help the doctors and him if I told him. He held his head in his hands and said, 'Oh my God, I can't believe it'."


Dica, who was desperate to hide the fact he had known of his own condition all along, pretended he would get a test.

Two weeks later he said it had been positive.

"But I still loved this man even then, and because no-one knew my status at that stage it was comforting he cared.

"Even though I knew he'd given it to me, I thought he'd done so unknowingly.

"But that couldn't have been further from the truth."

Wiping away more tears, she went on: "Love is blind, so very blind."

Their relationship resumed, and continued for several more months.

Then came another bombshell - she discovered Dica had also infected his former girlfriend.

"I felt sick. I felt dead inside."

Hours later she went to the police. "I had to stop this man ruining more lives."

She also consulted solicitors, "possibly as many as ten, saying this man has given me HIV.

"Basically they told me 'It's your own fault. You are responsible for your actions'."

Deborah said that to begin with she could not take in the extent of Dica's deception.

"You know, when we went out for a meal he would pay, but there was nothing extravagant about him.

"The only thing extravagant about him was the cocktail of lies he showered me with every day ..

deceitful, awful lies. 'I love you, I want to marry you, I want children, my mother is dying, I am a lawyer'.

"It just went on and on.

"Nothing he said was true. He said he was separated from his wife and lived with his Muslim sister, but that was just a strategy to keep me from his home because I was not Muslim.

"I would be in a car with him and he'd pretend to have a phone conversation to ask for a registration check on a vehicle.

"I picked him up from outside court, dropped him off outside police stations and solicitor's offices. It was all part of the deceit."

She added: "He played with my life and he's destroyed it.

"This has been a tragic part of my life. He passed on this infection deliberately.

"Those who have it confirmed are obliged by human decency to make sure you don't spread that tragedy to others.

"I've often wondered why he did this. Maybe it was revenge, but only he would know this.

"But I know he's got no remorse. He's only interested in himself.

"And then I have asked myself 'Why me?' I'm just ordinary. I haven't hurt anyone and now he's ruined my life and, to an extent, the lives of my friends and family."

'Very low'

Deborah admits she was "very low" in the first year after diagnosis.

"Yet this has made me strong. Reporting it to the police has helped me cope. I know this is not over for me, but today we have seen the law really is there to support us.

"My sentence has just begun. But I can now move on, knowing that justice has been done.

"I'm still coming to terms with my HIV status. Life has been rough. But I am looking forward to giving my children the focus they deserve.

"He has infected my body and that man will never leave my head. I have to live with that. Yet I really live by the day. I take each 24 hours as it comes.

"And getting this far has given me an inner peace.

"It has taken a long time to get here but ... if my ordeal helps the law to be changed to make it easier for men like him to be prosecuted for offences like this, if it helps educate people and saves even one life, it will have been worth fighting for."

Asked about her health, she said: "I'm fine at the moment. But I have to be careful how I live. I have to go gently through each day."

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