December 2021

Dance teacher sexually assaulted 11-year-old girl as she walked alone to school

A dance teacher followed an 11-year-old girl as she walked alone to school before running toward her and sexually assaulting her.

Arvin Odell, 20, fled after touching the frightened child under her skirt but was later arrested.

Odell, who is studying at Leicester’s De Montfort University and teaches dance to children as young as five, had acted because of a ‘fetish’, Leicester Crown Court heard.

The incident happened near Braunstone Park at about 7.40am on Thursday, September 23. Later that morning, Leicestershire Police went to his house in Gooding Avenue, Braunstone, and he had been in custody since until his crown court appearance.

He appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court the next day and pleaded guilty to the offence of ‘sexual assault by touching of a girl under 13’.

The case was sent to the crown court because of its greater sentencing powers.

Judge Mark Watson decided to release Odell from custody, giving him a community order so that he could work with the probation service to prevent further offending.

Lynsey Knott, prosecuting, told the court the youngster had been walking to school alone in her school uniform in Overpark Avenue, Braunstone, when she first noticed Odell, who lives in the street.

He walked behind her for a while, then crossed to the opposite side of the road and appeared to hesitate.

Then he crossed back and crouched down before rushing towards the girl, Ms Knott said, adding: “He chose to follow her and chose his moment to approach her.

“She described feeling worried and scared and how there was no one else around at the time.

“He was a dance teacher and taught children and said he had a fetish for legs.”