Purple Aki Back in Court Again (Again)

Thanks to the BBC for this one

A 47-year-old man broke a ban on him approaching young men and touching their muscles, a court has heard.

Akinwale Arobieke, of Toxteth, Liverpool - known as "Purple Aki" - was jailed in 2003 for harassment.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Arobieke asked a 17-year-old to show him his biceps - after a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) was imposed.

Mr Arobieke denies approaching the boy and breaching the Sopo in June last year, two months after it was made.

The court heard Mr Arobieke had a "predilection" for approaching young men and touching or feeling their muscles.

His reputation had spread across north-west England and was considered by many to be an urban myth, the jury heard.

'Very frightened'

The prosecution said the Sopo was imposed in April last year and banned him from approaching males under the age of 18, touching their muscles and asking them to squat.

Trevor Parry Jones, prosecuting, said two months later Mr Arobieke approached a 17-year-old in the street in Birkenhead and asked to see his biceps.

When the teenager realised it was "Purple Aki", he ran away "very frightened and very shaken", Mr Parry Jones said.

Speaking from behind a curtain, the teenager said: "As I turned a corner I heard a sound behind me so I turned around and he was there.

"He said he had noticed me around the area and asked me had I been working out.

"He asked me how much I could bench (press)."

Allegation 'false'

The boy told the court that Mr Arobieke then pointed to his arms and asked to see the youngster's biceps.

The boy said: "As soon as I heard that I realised who it was. I backed away and told him I had to go.

"I felt sick and walked away as fast as I could. I went to a friend's house and looked back but he had gone."

The following month the youngster picked out Mr Arobieke in a video identity parade organised by police.

Mark Barlow, defending, told the jury that Mr Arobieke had once been convicted of the manslaughter of Gary Kelly, a distant relative of the victim, but the conviction was later quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Cross-examining the teenager, Mr Barlow said: "Your allegation is a false one, borne out of connection between Gary Kelly and your family and an opportunity to get back at Mr Arobieke."

The trial continues.

For more background see our previous story

Government To Issue Swine Flu Advice To St Helens Residents

Swine Flu St HelensLeaflets containing information about the swine flu virus will be distributed to households across the UK.

Dozens of people across the country are being tested for the infection, with the first two confirmed cases being Iain and Dawn Askham, of Polmont, near Falkirk, who had been on holiday in Mexico.

The Department of Health also confirmed it is in talks with a number of companies which produce surgical face masks, but would not confirm reports that millions of the masks have been ordered.
People have been advised against all but the most essential travel to Mexico as the outbreak worsens worldwide.

A total of 159 people have died in the South American country as a result of the outbreak.

A DH spokeswoman explained: "The leaflet will be sent out next week, cover the whole of the UK, and will contain information about this flu outbreak and preventative messages."

She added: "We are talking to a number of manufacturers about procuring face masks. We are not in a position to provide further details at this stage."

It is intended that the extra masks will be used by health workers.

The spokeswoman added: "Although we are aware that facemasks are being given out to the public in Mexico, the available scientific evidence does not support the general wearing of facemasks by those who are not ill whilst going about their normal activities.

"We are urgently looking into how we can increase our current stockpiles of facemasks for healthcare workers who would come into close contact with symptomatic individuals during an influenza pandemic."

The Face of Sutton Manor Draws Worlwide Attention to St Helens

The Face of Sutton ManorIt's been a beautifully sunny few days here in St Helens as the builders have been putting the finishing touches to our new sculpture.

How nice it is for our great town to get some attention for something other than industrial decline!

Read more about it here in a BBC News Story
although not everyone is so happy as was recently reported
And from our archives here is the story of how the project originated

Man Charged With St Helens Morrisons Murder

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a supermarket worker died hours after she tackled a suspected shop lifter on Merseyside.

The woman, 47, was injured at Morrisons on Baxter Lane, St Helens, on Saturday afternoon when she tried to stop a suspected shoplifter fleeing.

The woman later collapsed at home and died on Sunday in hospital.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said a local man, aged in his 40s, was being questioned by detectives.

Police want to speak to anyone who may have been in the supermarket at the time.

A spokesman for Morrisons said it was "saddened" by the woman's death and that it would fully support the police in their investigation