Who is Purple Aki and what does his nickname mean?

In the North-West of England, the man known as "Purple Aki" slowly gained notoriety and became an urban legend for his strange compulsion's.

So, who is "Purple Aki" – real name Akinwale Arobieke – and what is he known for?

Who is Purple Aki?

Throughout the 80s, Aki had been seen stalking young rugby players, asking to touch their muscles to pose for him and even offering exercise advice.

While this appeared harmless and humorous to start, it quickly turned sinister, after several incidents where Aki reportedly prayed on both teens and professional rugby players alike.

For those growing up in the Northwest of England in the 1990s, ‘Purple Aki’ became an urban legend, where teenagers would share stories of a man who’d ask to feel your muscles.

Aki was often seen travelling between northern train stations with his signature plastic bag in hand and soon Aki became little more than the butt of an inside joke across Liverpool, Manchester, and North Wales.

Aki would occasionally resurface in local papers after various encounters with the law.

He was also banned from touching, feeling and measuring muscle, and asking strangers to perform squats for him, from 2006.

Aki was prevented from waiting near schools and gyms and was banned from entering Warrington, Widnes, and St. Helens – which are noted for their heavy rugby presence.

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What does Purple Aki mean?

The name Purple Aki is a name for someone who has been categorized as a 'nonce', which is a slang word for 'paedophile', according to the urban dictionary.

However, for Purple Aki, it is believed to be referring to his dark skin tone.

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.

What has Purple Aki gone to jail for?

In 1986, a 16-year-old Gary Kelly noticed that he was being followed by a giant,muscular, six-foot-five man, who was said to have waited outside Gary’s school and confronted by him to ask if he could touch his muscles.

On 15th June, Gary and his friends were at New Brighton’s outdoor swimming pool when Aki was spotted following Gary again.

Gary reportedly ran to New Brighton train station and tried hiding in a stationary train before he jumped to the railway tracks as Aki watched from the platform.

It's not clear exactly what happened, but Gary touched the third rail and was electrocuted by a whopping 750 volts.

Despite efforts to revive him, Gary was pronounced dead and Akinwale was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and indecent assault and harassment of 14 different boys.

The judge decided that Aki’s presence on the platform caused Kelly’s death and he was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

In 1988, Aki appealed against his conviction arguing that standing on the platform does not constitute a criminal offence, while the judges agreed the evidence didn't show that Aki had physically threatened Kelly.

The convictions were overturned, and so Aki was freed, and he went on to claim that the prosecution’s case was racially charged, and he was awarded £35,000 in compensation.

“They receive several calls a day saying I am in locations across the country even when I am in prison.”

However, it was clear that Aki’s obsession was beyond control and after being released in 2003, Aki was arrested for 15 charges of harassment and witness intimidation and sentenced to six years in prison.

Less than 7 months after the touching ban, Aki commented on man’s biceps and touched them without permission and was arrested for the breach of his SHPO and jailed for 15 months.

In 2010, Aki was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years for touching a 16-year-old boy’s muscles, as the judge referred to him as a “sexual predator”, Aki maintained that he had been set up.

Aki was arrested again in 2015, charged with harassing a young man on a train from Manchester.

Whilst Aki was found guilty of the breach, he maintained that he had again been falsely accused as a result of his reputation, as more reports began to pour in.

The SHPO, or touching ban, was finally lifted in April 2016, as psychologists determined that Aki’s obsession with touching muscles was not sexually motivated.

Since then, he's been a legend in the North West – and continues to live his life outside of prison.

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