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Man calling himself ‘109’ accused of slapping women’s bottoms in Didcot

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 13, 2022

A man calling himself ‘109’ is said to have groped five women.

Jurors at Oxford Crown Court heard that Artig Emmanuel, 24, allegedly touched the bottoms of four of the female joggers on the night of November 10, 2020.

Opening the case against the defendant on Monday afternoon, prosecutor Richard Moss said: “They variously describe a black male, approximately six foot tall, unexpectedly coming up to them then slapping their bottoms.

“The male is said to have said to [one of the complainants]: ‘Do you want me to do it again?’ She replied ‘no’ and may have told him to ‘f*** off’.”

The women were all walking or jogging in Wantage Road or Broadway, Didcot, when they were allegedly assaulted by Emmanuel.

Two nights later, on November 12, a fifth woman was on her way home from working in a restaurant in Didcot when she was said to have been touched by the defendant.

The man, who was around six foot tall, black and wearing a blue hooded top, allegedly asked ‘if she wanted a kiss’. The woman replied in robust terms that she did not, the jury was told.

The following night police were on patrol in the area to try and catch the man responsible, the court heard.

“The CCTV operators and the police saw the defendant on The Broadway at 6.30pm wearing a blue hoodie. He was followed on the CCTV and the police eventually stopped him,” Mr Moss said.

He initially gave his name as ‘Daniel’ and later, after he was arrested, claimed to be called ‘109’.

Interviewed the following day with a solicitor and appropriate adult present, Emmanuel was said to have denied involvement in the sexual assaults. He claimed he was walking in the area as he did every day, visiting Sainsbury’s to buy bubble-gum or mints, the jury was told.

Later, he was said to have returned to the police station and asked to speak to an officer. He told a detective ‘I smacked those girls on the backside’, Mr Moss said.

The barrister said: “The prosecution say in that interview he essentially confessed to committing these offences.”

However, in December he was interviewed again and shown CCTV of the nights when the assaults allegedly occurred. He gave a largely no comment interview, but also spoke of ‘false conclusions’ and said that many people wore the same clothes.

Mr Moss said the CCTV clips, which had been analysed by a ‘walking gait expert’, did not show the alleged assaults.

But he added: “What they do show is the complainants exercising and a male matching the description given by the witnesses. In some cases it’s clear it’s the defendant on the footage…and the male appears to be following the ladies, the Crown say.”

Emmanuel, of Blackthorn Road, Didcot, denies five charges of sexual assault. The trial continues.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward