Gareth Thomas settles case alleging reckless transmission of HIV

McCue Jury & Partners are pleased to confirm that our Client, Mr. Ian Baum, has accepted a financial settlement from his ex-partner, the former Welsh Rugby and British & Irish Lions Captain and a patron of the Terrence Higgins Trust, Mr. Gareth Thomas.

Despite Mr. Thomas’ significant financial and media power, Ian stood up for himself against the odds. Ian is looking forward to putting this unpleasant chapter of his life behind him.

Mr. Baum’s claim against Mr. Thomas was multi-faceted and included allegations that Mr. Thomas deliberately concealed the fact that he was HIV positive from Ian, recklessly transmitted HIV to him during their relationship, and then behaved in a coercive and controlling way to prevent this from becoming public. Not only are these civil wrongs, but criminal offences.

The settlement, while reached based on a non-admission of liability by Mr. Thomas, nevertheless serves as significant vindication for our client after an eight-year ordeal, which has been the source of significant stress and trauma for him, combined with public allegations that by seeking redress he was somehow blackmailing Mr. Thomas, when all he wanted was to be heard.

Despite Mr. Thomas’ significant financial and media power, Ian stood up for himself against the odds. Ian is looking forward to putting this unpleasant chapter of his life behind him.

This is perhaps the first civil case in this country relating to the reckless transmission of HIV in which the claimant has recovered damages. Ian hopes that his success will be a benchmark for others.

Ian also wishes to express that he is saddened by the disparity in the unequivocal support The Terrence Higgins Trust has publicly given Mr. Thomas and the utter lack of support they have given him. While the Terrence Higgins Trust has undoubtedly done incredible and important work on behalf of those living with HIV, it is also without doubt that they failed Ian.

McCue Jury & Partners are pleased that, when no other firm would take Ian’s case, we did so and that we were able to help Ian achieve a positive outcome.

Notes to Editor
  1. It is important to note that, in settling, Mr. Thomas has not admitted liability.
  2. During the proceedings, Mr. Thomas did make the following admissions that, during the relevant period:
    He was in a romantic and sexual relationship with Ian;
    He hid the fact he was taking medication for HIV from Ian; and
    His viral load was not at a level that precluded transmission of the virus at the time.
  3. The following is also true:
    Medical records demonstrate that Ian was HIV negative before entering a relationship with Mr. Thomas and tested HIV positive seven months into the relationship.
    Ian was monogamous in his relationship with Mr. Thomas during the relevant period.
    Mr. Thomas is a patron of the Terrence Higgins Trust, which campaigns to end the transmission of HIV and to support those living with HIV.
    Mr. Thomas’ admitted actions run counter to the objectives of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
    The Terrence Higgins Trust website advises that the facts, as admitted to by Mr. Thomas (see ¶2 above), may amount to the criminal offence of reckless transmission of HIV[1] pursuant to the Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA 1861).
    To date, the Terrence Higgins Trust’s position has been to unequivocally and publicly support Mr. Thomas. In response to concerns raised about their position, all that they offered Ian in return is their advice that he should call its confidential helpline.
  4. Ian was a former officer in the RAF’s Police & Security Services. Later, he was a police constable with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary before retiring from the force and working as a hotel general manager. He lost everything due to his relationship with Mr. Thomas and, because of contracting HIV, his life expectancy has been shortened by 6-8 years. He now works as a carer for elderly patients.


For more information visit the Terrence Higgins Trust