In a week full of convictions for the callous rioters that ripped through the streets of England last week, news was released of an altogether more bizarre and ground-breaking conviction. Traffic officer, David Golding was jailed for 14 months for passing on the sexually transmitted infection herpes to his girlfriend.

In the first ever case where an individual has been jailed for passing on herpes during the hearing in which the 29-year-old admitted causing grievous bodily harm by giving the infection to his then partner, Cara Lee, 23. Northampton Crown Court heard that Golding had kept his infection a secret during the couple’s relationship in 2009. After finding out she had been infected in March of 2010, Ms Lee moved out and reported Golding to the police.’.

Judge Michael Fowler told Golding: ‘Because it was in a relationship, it was particularly mean and one which amounted to a betrayal – a betrayal in a relationship in which you professed love…The injury you caused by this infection is at least or more serious than an injury leaving a scar because it carries continued recurrence, extreme discomfort and consequences for relationships she will have in the future.’

But sexual health experts and charities have called the decision to imprison him ‘outrageous’. Sexual health experts said herpes was not serious enough to amount to grievous bodily harm under the Offences Against The Person Act and will further stigmatise herpes.

Dr Colm O’Mahoney, sexual health consultant at the Countess of Chester Hospital said: ‘This is outrageous. Will children now be prosecuted for “giving” their friends chickenpox? Most people who have genital herpes don’t know it because, even if they do get recurrences, it is such a trivial genital infection that they don’t notice it.’

In Britain, about 6million people have genital herpes and up to 40million may have picked up herpes simplex (a cold sore) on the face. If you don’t want to end up like the unfortunate Mr Golding, be safe and use this week’s ‘Condom of the Week’ when having sex. This week I have chosen Durex Extra Sensitive Condoms, these condoms are feather-light to give you an intimate and natural experience.