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Alcoholic denies indecent assault

PUBLISHED: 13:50 27 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 March 2010

AGEING alcoholic Ivan Arnold was labelled a "dirty old man" at Ipswich Crown Court after he admitted touching teenage girls' bottoms.

Arnold, who was being quizzed over two allegations of indecent assault, admitted touching teenagers who gathered at his Ipswich flat to drink and take drugs.

AGEING alcoholic Ivan Arnold was labelled a "dirty old man" at Ipswich Crown Court after he admitted touching teenage girls' bottoms.

Arnold, who was being quizzed over two allegations of indecent assault, admitted touching teenagers who gathered at his Ipswich flat to drink and take drugs.

He also admitted asking youngsters to go to bed with him.

But the unemployed 57 year-old, who denies indecent assault, said his impotence meant any such suggestions were just "playful jests", and any bottom touching consisted merely of friendly pat.

Karim Khalil, prosecuting, said the girls would have been worried about Arnold being "a dirty old man" when he approached them.

But Arnold said prescription drugs and his long term alcoholism and cannabis use had left him impotent. Earlier the court had seen video evidence from two teenage girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both of whom say Arnold indecently assaulted them in May last year.

The first girl said on her fourth visit to the Vernon Street, flat Arnold embraced her, groped his bottom and asked her to go to bed with him and tried to lift her top.

Lindsay Cox, defending, put it to her that she had misinterpreted the hug – which had been intended as a friendly gesture – and that the rest never actually happened.

The girl accepted the hug could have been misinterpreted but insisted she was telling the truth.

Her teenage friend said during another visit Arnold stroked her thigh roughly and tried to touch her indecently. When asked by Mr Cox if she might also have misinterpreted Arnold's gestures she said No.

But in his evidence to the courts, Arnold said he had merely rested his arms on the girls legs as he knelt in front of her chair for a short chat.

Under questioning from Mr Khalil, Arnold admitting apologising to the girl on her next visit and said he was aware something had upset her.

Arnold also admitted he told the girls, who were 13 and 14 at the time, to lie about their ages if the Police arrived.

But he denied this was because they were under the age of sexual consent – simply because he was allowing them to drink and take drugs in his flat.

Mr Khalil asked him about his relationship with two other girls – both of whom had been regular visitors at the flat for a number of years.

Arnold admitted asking both of them to go to bed with him and that he found one very attractive but again denied that it was anything more than joking.

When asked if he had ever tried to lift up a girls top he said: "No way".

Under questioning from Mr Cox, Arnold revealed both girls, who alleged indecent assault had been back to his flat on a number of occasions after the alleged incidents.

The trial continues.

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