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'I did not rape boy,' accused tells jurors


A former care home worker told a jury he did not rape or sexually abuse a boy.

Anwar Ismail (31) denies anything of a sexual nature happened with Aaron Leafe, at Woodland Retreat, in Chantry Lane, Leicester.

The prosecution alleges Ismail groomed Aaron and first abused him when he was 12, in 2007.

The defendant was the boy's carer until 2008, when he was dismissed from the home after forcibly restraining Aaron for misbehaving.

Six weeks after making a police complaint about Ismail, Aaron, who was 15, apparently committed suicide, in June 2010.

Giving evidence yesterday, Ismail, of Matlock Street, Spinney Hills, Leicester, said he was given one or two weeks' training before starting at Woodland Retreat.

Within six months he became Aaron's key carer and despite the boy's challenging and attention-seeking behaviour, they got on well.

Ismail said Aaron displayed sexualised behaviour towards staff and they had all advised him about acceptable boundaries.

He said no staff had complained to him personally about his professionalism, prior to his dismissal.

Ismail rejected allegations Aaron spent the night with him in a staff room or that he abused him in a classroom.

He also said when a teacher walked in to see Aaron's head on his lap, the boy was lethargic and complaining about feeling unwell.

Asked if he had abused, raped or attempted to rape Aaron, Ismail said: "No, never. No, that's not me at all.

"I wouldn't do that to anyone."

When questioned about a member of staff allegedly seeing him tap Aaron's bottom, he said: "If I did, it would be to hurry him along, but it wasn't sexual."

Ismail said the children would often hug carers at the end of their shift and some of the rules were "blurred".

He said Aaron had on occasions kissed him on the cheek, but said: "I never kissed him."

The prosecution claims Ismail continued the alleged abuse after Aaron moved to another children's home, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

Ismail said after he left the Leicester home, Aaron obtained his phone number and began calling him.

He said: "I know it was wrong to be in contact with him. It was just to see how he was getting on.

"When you spend so much time with someone, you do get attached, but never in a sexual way."

Ismail said he lied to police, by denying continuing to see Aaron after they had left Woodland Retreat, because he was "scared".

Ismail denies one charge of rape on December 9, 2009, one of attempted rape between January 2007 and June 2010 and one of sexual assault between March and April 2010.

He also denies four charges of sexual activity with a child and three of abducting a child, between December 2009 and May 2010.

The trial continues.

'I did not rape boy,'  accused tells jurors

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