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Jury retires to consider sex case

PUBLISHED: 19:23 30 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:45 03 March 2010

JURORS considering the case of "dirty old man" Ivan Arnold were today expected to be sent out to decide their verdict.

The 57-year-old alcoholic has admitted touching teenagers who gathered to drink and take drugs at his Ipswich flat although he denies two charges of indecently assaulting girls.

JURORS considering the case of Ivan Arnold, described in court as a "dirty old man", were today expected to be sent out to decide their verdict.

The 57-year-old alcoholic has admitted touching teenagers who gathered to drink and take drugs at his Ipswich flat although he denies two charges of indecently assaulting girls.

Karim Khalil, prosecuting, branded Arnold a "dirty old man" last week at Ipswich Crown Court. He repeated his accusation in his closing speech.

Lindsay Cox, defending, admitted his client's behaviour was "sleazy" but urged jurors to clear Arnold.

The court heard evidence from 21-year-old mother of one Jade Brookes, who said she had been going to Arnold's Vernon Street flat to drink and take drugs for several years.

Under questioning from Mr Khalil, she admitted Arnold had asked her to go to bed with him.

But Miss Brookes said she had always taken his comments as a joke and would have told him to "eff off" if he ever made an improper advance.

Miss Brookes also insisted she had never seen any evidence of Arnold assaulting other girls and she would have stepped in if she had.

She said: "Everyone would say something, it's not a thing you can just sit there and watch."

Arnold faces allegations that he assaulted the two girls at his flat in May last year.

But Miss Brookes said she had been at the flat on both occasions in question and had seen nothing untoward.

But Mr Khalil said while Miss Brookes might have taken Arnold's actions as jokey and friendly, the two girls in question had not.

According to Mr Khalil Arnold targeted both girls at a moment of vulnerability – one after an argument with a boyfriend and the other suffering from the effects of cannabis.

He said: "When he sees an opportunity, he takes the opportunity to have a go."

Mr Cox said he knew many jurors would regard Arnold with "disdain, dislike and disapproval" but they were not reasons for a conviction.

In his summing up, Judge Holt said jurors would have to be certain Arnold had a sexual motive and his actions were not misinterpreted.

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