Friday, November 9, 2007

A convicted criminal known as 'Purple Aki' has denied breaching a sexual offences order which bans him from touching other people's muscles.A man has told a jury he was grabbed in Preston, Lancashire, by a man he thought was a well-known "bogeyman".The events took place on May 24 this year when the man, known only as Jonathan, was shopping with a friend in Preston city centre.Akinwale Arobieke, 46, of Cavendish Gardens, Liverpool, denies two charges of breaching an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in October 2006, which bans him from "touching, feeling or measuring any muscle areas".Giving evidence from behind a screen, Jonathan told the jury at Preston Crown Court that as he and his friend crossed Fishergate outside Topshop the man grabbed him by his right bicep.He said the man asked him which gym he went to and said that must be where he recognised him from.He said: "He had hold of my right bicep throughout."Arobieke is alleged to have asked Jonathan about his gym training and told him he was getting bigger as a result.Jonathan said his friend started telling him about Arobieke and man reacted to by tightening his grip on the young man's bicep and denying the allegations.Arobieke is then said to have asked Jonathan to go and talk to him down Canon Street free from his friend's interruptions and gestured with his head for him to walk away with him.However, worried by the claims his friend was making, Jonathan shook the man off his shoulder and went to join his friend.The pair later reported the incident to a security guard in the Mall St George's. They met another friend after work and looked up 'Purple Aki' on the internet.Jonathan spoke to his mother about what had happened and she urged him to report the incident to the police.Robert Platts, defence, read the jury an account of Arobieke's notoriety taken from the website Wikipedia, which stated: "Akinwale Arobieke, known locally as Purple Aki, is a convicted criminal from the North West of England."He was widely believed to be an urban legend until his imprisonment in Liverpool in 2001. He was well known as a "bogeyman" in the area, with stories of his activity reaching as far as Wigan and Doncaster."Many stories talk of his sexual attacks, but he has never been found guilty of anything of a sexual nature."Mr Platts quoted further references to Arobieke's criminal history taken from the site and added: "The jury will hear that is factually incorrect."However, Mr Platts said: "Mr Arobieke accepts he was in Preston that day and around the area we are talking about, but he denies any contact with you."What I suggest happened to you is that (your friend) spotted him because he knew about him because of his Liverpool football (friends] and the fact that he had in the past downloaded him through the net."He spots him and says there and then 'that's Purple Aki' at a distance from you and from that point on you spot him two or three times."You were going round following him."Prosecutor Jonathan Clarke said on the same day a similar incident was recorded on CCTV in the St George's shopping centre.He said Arobieke was seen grabbing the bicep of another young man who was out shopping with his girlfriend.The man did not report the incident but was traced through local media appeal following Jonathan's complaint.

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