THE parents of a seven-year-old haemophiliac boy from Newport who died from AIDS after he given blood infected with HIV have spoken of its devastating effect.

Colin and Janet Smith’s son Colin became terminally ill when he was being treated by the NHS during the 1980s and died on January 13, 1990.

Welsh victims of the contaminated blood scandal have started giving evidence to a public inquiry.

Mr and Mrs Smith told how they were let down by Colin’s consultant, Professor Arthur L Bloom, at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales and of the horrific abuse and vandalism they suffered in Newport when their son was dying.

South Wales Argus: Janet and Colin SmithJanet and Colin Smith

They told how parents threatened to stop sending their children to his school and wouldn’t let them play with their son because he had AIDS.

Mr Smith, aged 65, said: “I got up one morning and someone had painted on our house in 6ft letters ‘AIDS DEAD’ and scratched it into our car.

“We had letters which said, ‘He should be put down or put on an island’. We decided we had to move.”

The couple told how Colin’s godmother didn’t want her child to play with him anymore and how one family member has asked that separate cutlery be used for their son.

The 64-year-old Mrs Smith said that it was only years later that she discovered that their other children had been bullied at school because of the ignorance surrounding AIDS.

South Wales Argus: Colin Smith was fond of school and drawing, the inquiry heardColin Smith was fond of school and drawing, the inquiry heard

Mr Smith told the inquiry in Cardiff how he became “unemployable” when bosses found out about his boy being infected with HIV and he was forced to claim benefits until his death.

He said: “I have seen a lot of death in my life, I served in the army during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. That was training. I could handle that.

“But there was no training for what was about to be dropped on us with what happened to Colin. The way he died wasn’t pleasant.”

Mrs Smith described the moment her and her husband discovered that Colin had contracted the disease.

She said: “Professor Bloom (from the University Hospital of Wales) came down to tell us that he had HIV in the corridor with children running around and other patients and we couldn’t comprehend what it meant to us because it had never been discussed.”

South Wales Argus: Colin and Janet Smith pictured today after they gave evidence at the inquiry held at Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music & DramaColin and Janet Smith pictured today after they gave evidence at the inquiry held at Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Colin’s parents said they think that their son could have became infected in the early 1980s when he was supplied with contaminated blood products from a treatment known as Factor VIII.

Mrs Smith said: “We need justice. We need something done about this. There’s a lot of people who have lost their lives, children, husbands and it’s just so wrong and I get really angry about it because something needs to be done about this.

“And thanks to this now we feel we are maybe going to get somewhere for the first time in all these years.”

Mr Smith said he felt suicidal after Colin’s death and that his son was “one in a million” and misses how they could have gone to watch rugby together.

You can contact the Infected Blood Inquiry by email: or phone: 0808 169 1377.