The Royal Court dealt harshly this week with a woman accused of knowingly passing a sexually transmitted disease to a soldier. Under wartime Defence of the Realm or DORA regulations, such an act is punishable by a prison sentence. Having found the woman guilty, the Bailiff had no hesitation in sending her down for six months.
The court heard how the woman, who is 28, single and residing in St Helier, had been admitted to the General Hospital suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. Discharged after a course of treatment, she was told to return weekly for ongoing medical care. She wrongly assumed she was cured, however, and began a relationship with a soldier. The offence came to light after he became infected.
During the case, the defence argued that prison was not a suitable place for the accused, she should in fact be sent to hospital for further treatment. The defendant was considered of low intelligence, the court heard, and unaware of the consequences of her actions.
The Attorney General dismissed the claims, demanding the maximum punishment for such a serious crime. The Bailiff concurred and sent the woman to Newgate Street Prison.
A/E/7 contains information on wartime DORA regulations including a list of islanders prosecuted under them up until September 1918.