March 2010

‘Sexual predator’ who preyed on two Hannah Montana fans jailed

A “sexual predator”, Dan Akinode, who preyed on two Hannah Montana fans queuing at a cinema to see their idol’s film debut has been jailed.

The 27 year-old, drank cans of Stella Artois while he groped the terrified sisters, aged 10 and 14, telling them they were “sexy”.

Akinode was later witnessed pestering other teenage girls and young women near Cineworld in Ilford, Essex.

Jailing the fiend for eight months, Judge Jacqueline Beech said: ‘You behaved like a sexual predator on the day in question.’

Judge Beech criticised Akinode – who has a string of convictions for drugs offences, harassment and witness intimidation – for calling the girls “sexy”.

“I cannot think of anything more inappropriate to say to a 14-year-old girl, let alone a 10-year-old girl,” he said.

The judge ordered the pervert to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Victim impact statements from the sisters’ parents revealed Akinode’s assault had left the girls devastated.

Referring to the 14-year-old’s statement, Judge Beech said: “Her behaviour has deteriorated at school.

“She is fearful to go out unless accompanied by her mother – she has become a recluse.”

Judge Beech told Akinode the 10-year-old was petrified of returning to Ilford in case she bumped into her tormentor.

“Now she lives in London she will not go to Ilford because she fears she will see you again,” said the judge.

Last month, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court took three hours and 40 minutes to convict Akinode following a five-day trial.

Akinode, who was studying construction at Havering College in Ardleigh Green near Hornchurch, Essex, was expelled after the guilty verdicts.

The trial heard how Akinode preyed on the girls in Clements Road on May 24 last year.

Both youngsters had arrived early during their half-term holiday in eager anticipation of Hannah Montana: The Movie.

They were waiting on a bench for the cinema to open when Akinode sidled up.

Prosecutor Emma Smith said: “He told them that they were sexy, he asked to go with them to the cinema, he asked where they lived.”

“He told them they were beautiful – he touched and caressed their faces.’

The youngsters dialled 999 and reported Akinode who was later arrested trying to escape on a number 369 bus.

After pestering the girls, Akinode was witnessed pestering several young women in Ilford town centre.

“He was walking along the street with his arms out wide, trying to hug another woman,” said Miss Smith.

The younger sister, who said the incident left her ‘shaking in fear’ saw Akinode also accost a group of teenage girls.

“These two girls were walking past and he grabbed these two girls,” said the youngster.

“He started hugging them and he would not let them go.”

He claimed he talked to the sisters but denied touching them sexually or making inappropriate comments.

Akinode, of Chadwell Heath, Essex, was convicted of two counts of sexual assault.