HIV accused found dead
An HIV-positive man due to appear in court today over charges of deliberately infecting people with the disease has been found dead.
Glenn Richard Albert Mills, 40, was found dead in his cell at Auckland's Remand Centre at Mt Eden prison overnight, the Department of Corrections has confirmed.
"Staff provided medical assistance but were unable to revive the prisoner. He was pronounced dead when ambulance staff arrived a short time later,'' Corrections assistant regional manager Grace Smit said.
"The prisoner's death is not considered suspicious, However the Coroner will investigate and confirm the circumstances.''
Mills, who had been in custody for several months, faced 28 charges in Auckland District Court relating to 14 people.
The charges included wounding and attempting to wound with reckless disregard and infecting and attempting to infect with a disease.
Police have said Mills was diagnosed HIV-positive in May 2007 but allegedly carried on with an active sex life.
He profiled himself as a 32-year-old on various website and telephone dating services, attempting to solicit partners throughout the country and possibly overseas.
Mills was due in court this morning for the latest round in a series of appearances as he fought the crown case against him – he was demanding that witnesses in the case, including his victims, be forced for take the stand and give evidence in person at a depositions hearing.
Under new court rules to speed up trials, evidence can be handed up in written form in depositions unless the accused contests it and asks for a hearing.
If the depositions hearing was granted it was likely to take place next year.
Mills was also due to go to the High Court in March next year as police sought a court order to forcibly take blood samples from him to use in their case against him.
Mills, a former Auckland train driver, first appeared in court in May this year charged with infecting male partners with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the precursor to AIDS.
Initially he was granted name suppression but when that order was lifted and he was publically identified more former partners came forward including three women.
Of the 14 people who eventually lined up accusing Mills of sleeping with them knowing he had HIV, seven are infected with HIV and seven not infected.
Mills last appeared in the dock two weeks ago and looked healthy.
Head of the Inquiry Detective Sergeant Andy King said Mills' body was found in his Mt Eden prison cell by prison staff this morning.
Mr King could not comment on the manner of Mills' death but said there would be routine investigation on behalf of the coroner.
The Corrections Department's Ms Smit said a review of Mills' death would be undertaken by the independent Corrections Inspectorate, which is monitored by the Office of the Ombudsmen.
"While this is underway, and the death is subject to the coroner's inquest, the department is unable to comment further.''
Earlier this month one of the country’s most notorious sexual offenders died in Wanganui Prison.
Taffy Hotene was sentenced to an 18-year non-parole life sentence in October 2000 for the murder of Auckland journalist Kylie Jones and preventive detention and a 10-year non-parole term for raping her.
Hotene attacked Jones just weeks after serving eight years in jail for attacking three women in Wanganui.
Corections Department Assistant General Manager of Operations Leanne Field said staff provided medical assistance but were unable to revive Hotene, who was pronounced dead by ambulance staff when they arrived.
The death is not considered suspicious.
In February, Samurai sword attacker and convicted killer Antonie Dixon died in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo. He was due in court that morning for a routine hearing.
Dixon, 40, machine-gunned a man to death and mutilated two women with a samurai-style sword on a P-fuelled crime spree in 2003. He was convicted, twice, of murdering James Te Aute and intending to cause grievous bodily harm to Simonne Butler and Renee Gunbie, after the sword attack.
Dixon repeatedly bashed his head against the wall of the segregation cell in which he was being held. At one stage he ran across the cell and launched head-first into a wall.
Good riddance, scum.