The infamous Akinwale Arobieke aka “Purple Aki” has been involved in a incident in Liverpool recently.
He was spotted on a street corner and stared aimlessly at three locals who questioned him about why he was there.
They continued to tell him to leave the area and called him a “nonce” and a “perv.”
The situation then escalates to the three men in the car getting out and shooting fireworks at him in the street.
The 6’5 Akinwale has a reputation for “touching muscles” and has become somewhat of a urban legend in the north of England.
On 15th June 1986 A 16 year old boy called Gary Kelly was running away from Aki when he jumped down to the railway tracks whilst Aki watched from the platform.
It isn’t exactly clear how it happened, but Gary touched the third rail and 750 volts coursed through his body.
Despite efforts to revive him, Gary Kelly was pronounced dead when he reached the hospital.
Arobieke was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Gary Kelly alongside indecent assault and harassment of 14 different boys.
He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The judge decided that Aki’s presence on the platform caused Kelly’s death.
In 1988, Aki appealed against his conviction.
He argued that merely standing on the platform does not constitute a criminal offence.
The judges agreed that the evidence did not show that Aki had physically threatened or chased Kelly. The Court of Appeal overturned the convictions, and so Aki was freed.
It was at that point that the tables turned — In 1989, Aki claimed that the prosecution’s case was racially charged, and he was subsequently awarded £35,000 in compensation.
For many, the memory of Aki’s manslaughter charges soon faded. In the public conscience, Aki soon became little more than the butt of of an inside joke that the people of Liverpool, Manchester, and North Wales shared.
On occasion, Aki would resurface in local papers following various encounters with the law.
In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 months behind bars for his continued and persistent harassment and intimidation.
It was clear, however, that Aki’s obsession was beyond control.
In 2003, soon after being released from prison, Aki continued where he left off.
He was charged with 15 further charges of harassment and witness intimidation and subsequently sentenced to 6 more years in prison.
Having been released from prison on license in late 2006, Merseyside Police were all too aware that Aki’s compulsion was unlikely to have disappeared.
Anticipating further recurrence of the strange behaviour he had become known for, they applied to the Court for a temporary Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
This was particularly unusual, as Aki had never been convicted of a sexual offence, but the Police felt this was their best chance of limiting his opportunities to satisfy his obsession.
The SHPO was granted, and Aki was banned from touching, feeling and measuring muscle, and asking strangers to perform squats for him.
Aki was also prevented from waiting near schools and gyms, and was banned from entering Warrington, Widnes, and St. Helens (which are, notably, all towns with a strong rugby presence).
Aki lamented the severity of the ban and was initially successful in seeing it overturned.
However, Merseyside Police quickly had it reinstated on appeal.
Less than 7 months after the order was effected, Aki commented on man’s biceps and touched them without permission.
He was arrested for the breach of his SHPO and jailed for 15 months. The ban was also made permanent.
In June 2008, Aki once again sought to have the ban overturned. During the case, the police revealed further details of Aki’s behaviour.
He was shown to keep a book of details relating to the victims of his harassment, including personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, information about their family members.
It is clear that he was a calculated stalker.
IT was also decided that Aki’s actions were indeed sexually motivated. A stark reminder that his behaviour was sinister as well as peculiar.
Aki has often spoken out about his public reputation and the treatment he has often been subjected to.
He takes offence to the name ‘Purple Aki’, it being an apparent reference to his dark complexion.
In his 2008 attempt to overturn the touching ban, Aki acknowledged that he had come to be “infamous, notorious, everything from the bogeyman to whatever”.
Over the years, Aki faced harassment and prejudice on more than one occasion.
In 2010, Aki was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years for touching a 16 year old boy’s muscles.
The judge referred to him as a “sexual predator”, but Aki maintained that he had been set up.
Aki’s comments proved to have some truth in them. In 2012, whilst he was still serving his prison sentence, Merseyside Police were forced to issue a statement denying that he had died, showing that the lines between “Purple Aki” as a character and Arobieke himself had become blurred.
Regardless of his motivations, Aki was clearly very interested in bodybuilding, and so it is no surprise that he could be seen attending a bodybuilding competition in Manchester in 2012.
Aki was arrested due to a perceived breach of his bail conditions.
An officer referred to him as a “famous paedophile” and used his arguably racist nickname.
—TDI Lewis, Police Operator.
Arobieke was held in police custody for six weeks until the case was dropped.
He maintains that he was given no opportunity to defend himself and was effectively held as a result of his reputation.
Greater Manchester Police’s treatment of Aki on such occasions was later found to constitute misconduct.
Aki found himself in court once again in October 2015, as he had been charged with harassing a young man on a train from Manchester, in breach of his SHPO.
Whilst Aki was found guilty of the breach, he maintained that he had again been falsely accused as a result of his reputation.
On this occasion, Aki noted that the prosecution and local newspapers often used the name “Purple Aki”, and that he found this to be racist and offensive.
A complaint was lodged to the Press Complaints Commission and the newspaper agreed not to use the name again.