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UPDATED: Aki loses muscle touching appeal
A MAN once described by detectives as a “predator” because of the way he had terrorised young sportsmen across St Helens has failed in his bid to overturn a sexual offences prevention order.
A judge at Liverpool Crown Court upheld the stringent order against Akinwale Arobieke which bans him from asking to touch men’s muscles or asking them to perform squat exercises.
The powerfully built 46-year-old, who is infamous across St Helens and neighbouring towns, insisted he did not get sexual gratification from touching muscles and brought a challenge against the order.
Despite Arobieke never being convicted of a sexual offence, Judge William George ruled the order should remain in place.
He told Arobieke: “This is a matter which has caused me much anxious consideration, but we must remember that serious sexual harm can be psychological or physical.
“At the end of the day we are not going to allow this appeal. We consider that the test for making an order has been satisfied.”
In 2003, a complex investigation run by detectives in St Helens, codenamed Operation Ice, secured a conviction against Aki for 15 counts of harassment, as well as a charge of intimidating a witness.
During an exhaustive police investigation into Arobieke, from Liverpool, 123 young men and teenage boys, mostly from St Helens, were interviewed.
Most often the youngsters would be involved with gyms, colleges, and rugby league clubs, both professional and amateur, in St Helens and other rugby league heartlands in the North West.
On his release from prison on licence in 2006 Merseyside Police secured an interim SOPO against Arobieke which also banned him from entering St Helens and hanging around near gyms or sports clubs.
But in 2007 a court ruled he had breached the order by feeling a man’s biceps in a Preston shopping centre and he was jailed for a further 15-months.
A formal explanation on the judgement will be made in court later this month. Among the likely terms of the order is that Arobieke will not be permitted to spend time in St Helens in the future, unless it is at a bus or rail station as he travels to and from work.