The 52 year old man, Akinwale Arobieke is fond of approaching young males, feeling their arms and asking them to do squats while he watches. Arobieke mostly targets young men he meets at St Peter’s Square, Manchester city centre, Trafford and Bolton.
The middle aged body builder denies any wrongdoing, saying he was set up by ‘vindictive’ people who knew about the history of his offence.
He was jailed for five years in 2003 for 15 charges of harassment and on his release he was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). This bans him from certain specific activities, like feeling a person’s muscles or getting them to carry out ‘squats’ in public.
He has since been jailed three times for flouting the SOPO, and is now facing a further string of breaches at Manchester Crown Court – offences which he denies. Prosecutor Michael Brady told the court:
‘The complainants in this case are all young men whose physical appearance and build hold a fascination for this defendant. ‘Mr Arobieke has had, and continues to have an interest in body building.
His interest extends beyond that which is legitimate and manifests itself in a way that we say is criminal.’
It’s alleged that between April and June 2011, Mr Arobieke approached a 19-year-old man in Manchester and ‘bumped into him’ before striking up a conversation. The man, now 20, told the jury Mr Arobieke followed him along the street and up towards the Triangle shopping centre in the city centre. The alleged victim told the court:
‘He stopped in front of me and held out his arm, because I had stopped answering his questions.
He opened his rucksack which had different body building magazines and started showing me pictures of them and asking if I knew who they were. He asked if I could do particular poses.’
The man told how the defendant touched him on the shoulder and bicep, and said it was a ‘very uncomfortable experience’. More than year later, the man said he was approached by Mr Arobieke again several times, in St Peter’s Square.
Mr Arobieke, who was defending himself, denies he ever met the man in the street and said there was no CCTV evidence that he approached him or followed him in St Peter’s Square. Arobieke, formerly of Liverpool, denies eight breaches of his sex offences prevention order.