Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Footballer cleared of touching himself while staring at woman on train

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A footballer who was accused of touching himself while staring at a young woman on a train has been cleared after explaining he was changing the volume on his headphones.

AFC Wimbledon defender Paul Kalambayi, 21, walked free from court on Thursday, October 15, after a jury found him not guilty of outraging public decency.

After the foreman delivered the jury's verdict, Kalambayi quickly strode from the dock out of the courtroom.

Kingston Crown Court had previously heard that Kalambayi boarded a quiet train as he headed to the club's training grounds in Berrylands, south west London, on October 13, 2018.

CCTV footage showed him first sitting opposite one woman in a four-seat section, before sitting on a pair of seats behind him which was adjacent to a woman.

The young woman, who was on her way to work at the time, alleged she saw Kalambayi slouch over the seats and touch himself over his AFC Wimbledon tracksuit.

Giving evidence, she told the court: "The way he was touching himself it was like a gesture to try and entice me to him. He was holding it and showing me like 'look at my erect penis'."

She added: "I noticed he was fiddling around with his trousers and he was holding his erect penis. And I could see it was his penis because of where it was on his body and the shape of it.

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"I was just shocked and disgusted really and it annoyed me a lot that he thought that was an appropriate thing to do to anyone."

The League One player however told the court that he may have been "adjusting the volume on his headphones" from a button in his pocket or "fixing his boxers".

He said he was wearing four layers on his bottom half at the time; a pair of "specialist athlete underwear", cycling shorts, training shorts and tracksuit trousers.

Asked by prosecutor Ollie Wellings if he had put his left hand on his groin during the train journey, Kalambayi said: "No, I’d say my pocket."

In closing speeches yesterday, Kate Parker, defending, told jurors : "Imagine your commute, not your commute today perhaps in these times, but your commute two years ago.

"Pick a day, any day, that was routine and unremarkable. And imagine having to account in detail for your actions – more specifically your hand movements – on that commute two years later before 12 total strangers.

"No doubt your memory will have faded. You might be unclear on the details why you sat or stood somewhere or looked in a certain direction. Moving seats or looking at someone doesn't require explanation."

Kalambayi, of Southwark, south London, was cleared of outraging public decency.

AFC Wimbledon has been contacted for comment.

  • London
  • Crime
  • Courts

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