The court received new information on the nurse who supposedly informed a transgender sex worker about her HIV infection. The prosecutors argue that the nurse was under the influence of drugs at the time she gave the diagnosis.
The transgender sex worker’s name is Clayton James Palmer and he identifies as a woman. She was working under the name of Sienna Fox at the time she tested positive for HIV. The sex worker is now accused of grievous bodily harm, after she had unprotected sex, in spite of her condition.
On November 27th, 2016, the transgender sex worker applied for the second time for bail. Following her arrest, she has been imprisoned in a male holding facility.
Prosecutors accuse the nurse from the WA Substance Users Association of being under the influence of drugs when she delivered the diagnostics. The incident occurred in August 2014, when the nurse took a sample from the transgender sexual worker and informed Ms. Palmer about her condition, during a home visit.
However, lawyer Simon Freitag for the defense argues that the diagnosis was not as definitive or clear as the State made out, due to the nurse’s condition at the time. Apart from the substance abuse, Mr. Freitag accuses the nurse of mental health issues, as well.
The upcoming trial in Ms. Palmer’s case will focus on whether she was aware of her condition by the time the nurse’s visit was over. Furthermore, the accused nurse is a key witness for the prosecution.
However, in the absence of the nurse, the State cannot determine if Ms. Palmer was aware of the positive HIV diagnosis. Hence, Simon Freitag pointed out that the trial could be adjourned, or even worse, abandoned if the nurse won’t make her presence in court.
Nevertheless, prosecutor Ben Stanwix is positive that the transgender sex worker took several notes during her meeting with the nurse, which would indicate that Ms. Palmer has been informed about her condition and the implications resulted from the positive HIV diagnosis.
“Am I going to die?”, was one of the concerns Ms. Palmer allegedly expressed during her meeting with the nurse.
Despite all of this, the accused sex worker has pleaded not guilty and awaits her trial which will take place next year, in 2017. The main worry for Simon Freitag is that the Casuarina prison, a male holding facility, does not represent a safe environment for Ms. Palmer. Furthermore, he says that his client also received several death threats from multiple inmates. Since her imprisonment, Ms. Palmer has come to terms with her condition and gets HIV treatment behind bars.
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