Purple Aki – The Real Life Bogey Man of Liverpool

purple aki squeeze muscles

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All over Liverpool school playgrounds kids people have heard folk tales of the bogeyman that is Purple Aki, the man who lurks in the bushes, jumps out and asks “Can I squeeze your muscles?”

Weird fetish, I know, but the folk stories are very true and Purple Aki has now had his sexual offence order overturned.

BBC Three did a 16-minute documentary about him and I just watched it myself – Truly shocking…

If you have 16 minutes spare I encourage you to give it a watch!

Who is Purple Aki? Unveiling the Mysterious Figure

Purple Aki, a notorious figure in the North West of England, has gained attention over the years for his intriguing and mysterious background.

Born Akinwale Oluwafolajimi Oluwatope Arobieke in 1961, he is a British convicted criminal known for his massive figure, standing 6 ft 5 in tall and weighing 22 st.

Arobieke’s peculiar actions and interactions with young men have made him somewhat of an urban legend in his community.

Arobieke Aka 'Purple Aki' (Liverpool Echo)

From striking up conversations about weight training to touching and measuring the muscles of young men, Arobieke’s behaviour has raised eyebrows and caused alarm among the residents of North West England and North Wales.

Despite his activities, Purple Aki has managed to gather a cult-like following, with some treating him as a modern-day folk devil or bogeyman.

As his notoriety spread across the UK, his life and actions became a topic of immense interest to people from various backgrounds, sparking numerous discussions, controversies, and court cases.

Key Takeaways

  • Purple Aki, born Akinwale Arobieke, is a notorious figure in the North West of England known for his interactions with young males and his interest in their muscles.
  • Arobieke has faced legal battles and court cases due to his peculiar actions, but still maintains a cult-like following.
  • Media coverage and documentaries have propelled Purple Aki’s story into the spotlight, causing continued interest in his life and activities.

Akinwale Arobieke: The Man Behind the Legend

Akinwale Arobieke, commonly known as “Purple Aki,” is a notorious figure from Liverpool, Merseyside. He has gained a reputation as an urban legend bogeyman due to his unusual behavior and intimidating presence.

A video from 2023 of ‘Purple Aki’ spotted in Leeds talking to a young man.

Arobieke stands at 6 feet 5 inches tall and is well known for his interest in squeezing the muscles of young men. This peculiar habit has led to numerous encounters and legal issues over the years. In one tragic event in 1986, a 16-year-old named Gary Kelly was electrocuted at New Brighton railway station while trying to escape from Arobieke. His death was ruled as manslaughter, and Arobieke was subsequently sentenced to prison.

Over the years, rumors and stories about Arobieke have spread throughout the North-West of England, often mentioning his impressive size and seeming obsession with muscles. His nickname “Purple Aki” is reportedly derived from his dark complexion and the once-common practice of calling intimidating figures “Aki.”

In 2012, Arobieke’s bans prohibiting him from touching, feeling, or measuring muscles were lifted. Despite his violent and unsettling reputation, some argue that Arobieke’s actions may stem from an obsession or compulsion rather than malicious intent.

Arobieke’s life story has garnered significant media attention, with numerous articles and a BBC Three documentary detailing his history. The true nature of Akinwale Arobieke may remain an enigma, but his status as an urban legend in Merseyside is undeniable.

Court Cases and Bans

Manslaughter and Acquittal

In 1986, Akinwale Arobieke, also known as Purple Aki, was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of a 16-year-old boy. The boy had died while attempting to flee from Arobieke. However, Arobieke was acquitted of the charge due to lack of evidence proving his direct involvement in the boy’s death.

Sexual Offences Prevention Order

In 2006, Arobieke faced charges of indecent assault and harassment, leading to his conviction and imprisonment. Following his release from prison, a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) was imposed on him to limit his activities and interactions with young men. This order forbade Arobieke from:

  • Touching, feeling or measuring the muscles or muscle groups of others
  • Loitering near gyms, sports centres, or schools
  • Asking others to perform exercises in his presence

The SOPO was in effect for several years until it was lifted in 2016.

Harassment and Compensation

Throughout his life, Arobieke has had numerous encounters with the law, including charges of harassment, witness intimidation, and other offences.

In one case, he was ordered to pay compensation to a victim who suffered anxiety, stress, and depression as a result of his actions.

Though Arobieke has faced several legal issues and court cases, his notoriety as Purple Aki – amplified by urban legends and internet sensationalism – continues to persist.

His story serves as a reminder of the fine line between myth and reality, illustrating the power of public perception in shaping an individual’s reputation.

What To Do If You’re Approached By A Creep in the Street… A Few Things to Remember

  • You are not obligated to engage with anyone you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone a handshake, or a conversation, or anything other than respecting their space.
  • It is OK to say “I’d rather not” if someone offers you a handshake and you don’t want to shake their hand. 
  • You can turn and walk away/make an excuse when someone you don’t want to talk to tries to strike up a conversation and is not reading your subtle cues.
  • Don’t let a stranger start touching you. It seems obvious, but if someone you meet in the street starts touching your body parts, squeezing your muscles, acting like they’re giving you some form of instruction. Do not let them do that to you. Say excuse me and walk away.

    Some creeps are smart enough to not do enough or not cross certain boundaries that would warrant them breaking the law and being arrested, and so they’re able to carry on for a long time.

Just make sure you stay vigilant and know what to do if you meet somebody who seems to cross boundaries in this way.

Incidents and Victims

Gary Kelly’s Electrocution

In a tragic incident, Gary Kelly, a young man, was electrocuted while attempting to escape from Akinwale Arobieke, also known as Purple Aki.

Despite efforts to revive him, Gary was pronounced dead. Arobieke was subsequently found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, indecent assault, and harassment of 14 different boys. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

But the decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal when judges ruled he had not acted unlawfully. (Liverpool Echo)

A Shaun Attwood podcast interview with Stephen French who knows Arobieke personally.

Measuring Muscles

Purple Aki is notorious for his obsession with touching and measuring the muscles of young men. His nickname is derived from the dark color of his skin and his tendency to leave his victims with a sense of deep unease.

Numerous victims have reported being approached by Arobieke and being asked to let him measure their muscles. In many cases, the victims were also asked to perform exercises, such as squats, to increase their muscle size.


A common aspect of Arobieke’s modus operandi is to instruct victims to perform squats in his presence. This practice enables him to further examine and feel their muscles.

Arobieke often manipulates his victims into doing this by preying on their insecurities and suggesting that performing squats will help improve their physique.

Many of those who have crossed paths with Purple Aki have been left traumatized and fearful by their encounters, adding to the growing urban legend surrounding this individual.

Gym Bans

Purple Aki, a notorious figure known for his obsession with muscles, has faced several gym bans throughout his history. Due to his criminal activities, he was restricted from visiting gyms, schools, and sports clubs, therefore limiting his access to the bodybuilding community.

Squat Exercises

In addition to his fascination with muscles, specifically biceps, Purple Aki has been reported to ask individuals to perform squat exercises in public. This behavior has contributed to his infamous reputation, as individuals have often felt uncomfortable or harassed by his requests.

Measuring Muscles

One of the most distinctive aspects of Purple Aki’s behavior is his predilection for measuring muscles. He frequently approaches people in public spaces, asking to touch or measure their biceps. These disturbing interactions have led to his bans from gyms, as well as ongoing societal concerns about his activities.

Documentaries and Media Coverage

BBC Three Documentary

In 2016, BBC Three released a documentary titled “The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching for Purple Aki.” The documentary, which is not currently available on BBC iPlayer, explores the mysterious figure of Purple Aki and his presence in Merseyside and surrounding areas.

Benjamin Zand, the filmmaker, delves into one of the UK’s strangest stories, searching for the truth behind this enigmatic individual.

Purple Aki Documentary

Social Media

Social media platforms have played a significant role in spreading information and awareness about Purple Aki.

Various posts, tweets, and discussions on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have contributed to the ever-growing intrigue surrounding this urban legend. Some users have debated his supposed actions, while others have denounced any racist undertones in the discussions.


YouTube has also been a source of content related to Purple Aki, with numerous videos and features exploring his story. Channels such as BBC News and independent creators have used the platform to share insights, opinions, and updates about this elusive figure. As a result, YouTube continues to contribute to the ongoing conversation surrounding his true identity and motivations.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, reports of Purple Aki’s behaviour led to multiple arrests over harassment and intimidation. His obsession with muscle touching and inappropriate approaches ultimately resulted in various legal difficulties.

In England and Wales, Purple Aki has faced several charges, including sexual offences. In 2001, he was arrested and charged with the manslaughter of Gary Kelly, a young athlete who died while attempting to escape Aki’s pursuit. However, the charge was later dropped due to insufficient evidence. Subsequent investigations led to Aki being convicted of a wide range of offences, with his criminal activities extending beyond his muscle fascination.

Aki has also faced geographical restrictions in response to his behaviour. In 2006, he was placed under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), which imposed limitations such as banning him from touching, feeling, or measuring muscles, asking people to perform squat exercises in public, and loitering near schools, gyms, or sports clubs. This order resulted in him being forcibly relocated from the Liverpool area to address concerns of his impact on the community.

Purple Aki has attempted to challenge his legal restrictions, albeit unsuccessfully. Following his release on license after serving a three-year sentence, he sought to appeal and lift the SOPO. The order remained in place, requiring him to adhere to the conditions set by the court to prevent further instances of harassment and intimidation.

Current Status and Incidents

In May 2016, Merseyside Police issued a public warning regarding Purple Aki, a notorious figure in the North West of England. ‘Purple Aki’, whose real name is Arobieke, has a history as a convicted criminal and is known for his obsession with feeling young men’s muscles.

Arobieke’s activities primarily spread across locations such as shopping centres, train stations, and public areas throughout the North West. Incidents have been reported in Warrington, Widnes, Preston, and at the New Brighton Railway Station.

In recent years, Arobieke faced legal consequences for his actions. The Preston Crown Court found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to 30 months in prison. Additionally, he was charged with indecent assault and the harassment of 14 different boys.

It is essential for the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities, especially if it involves personal information. The North West of England, as well as the entire Britain, should continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens in the face of such incidents.

Controversies and Conclusions

Purple Aki, a notorious figure in UK urban culture, has been linked to a series of controversies and troubling incidents over the years. Known for stalking individuals, he has been the subject of numerous police investigations and court cases, with accusations of sexual motivation in his actions.

In several instances, Purple Aki has been caught breaching a court-ordered touching ban, which prohibited him from touching, feeling, measuring, or examining other people’s muscles. Often targeting young males, his obsession with their physique led to mysterious and unsettling encounters. As a result, the authorities have enforced strict measures against him.

The story of Purple Aki has been complicated further by discussions of racial overtones in the manner people refer to him. As a black man, some argue that his nickname and the way his story is discussed may perpetuate racial stereotypes. It is essential to approach this topic with sensitivity and fairness.

Among Purple Aki’s numerous convictions are charges related to stalking and harassment, consistently centred on his fixation with physical strength. One particular case involved touching a young man’s buttocks, further supporting the claims of sexual motivation. He has also been found using the internet inappropriately in his pursuit of targets.

In a rare public statement, Purple Aki issued an apology for his actions. However, concerns about his behavior toward children remain, as he has been known to approach them and ask about their exercise routines. Throughout this complex narrative, it is crucial to separate the facts from rumors and clarify the nature of his actions while maintaining a neutral, clear, and knowledgeable perspective on the matter.

Timeline of Events

Purple Aki’s criminal history began in the 1980s when he was first accused of multiple counts of muscle touching against teenage boys. These incidents led to Arobieke becoming a notorious figure in the region.

In 2003, he assaulted a man in St Helens, with a knife in his possession. Purple Aki was taken into custody following this event.

In 2006, after a string of incidents involving his obsession with teenage boys’ muscles, Purple Aki was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). This order banned him from approaching and touching people’s muscles without their consent.

Despite the muscle touching ban, Arobieke was found to have breached his SOPO several times, leading to further legal action.

Throughout his criminal career, Purple Aki also faced other charges, including manslaughter. In 1986, a teenager named Gary Kelly tragically died while escaping from Arobieke. Kelly had come into contact with a live electric rail during the encounter, resulting in his death.

Purple Aki was initially convicted of manslaughter, but this conviction was later overturned.

Arobieke has been imprisoned multiple times for violating the terms of his SOPO. In 2015, he faced charges for breaching the order yet again. A bodybuilder testified that Purple Aki had touched his muscles without consent while they were in a gym together. Arobieke was released from prison in 2016 after serving time for this offence.

Despite his criminal past and reputation as an urban legend, Purple Aki has been covered extensively by the media, even drawing the attention of BBC News. In 2018, video footage emerged of Arobieke casually discussing his obsession with muscles in public, further adding to his notoriety.

Throughout his life, Purple Aki has remained a subject of fascination and concern, particularly for residents in the North-West of England. His actions continue to be discussed and examined in various forms of media, highlighting the complexity of his story and the impact he has had on the communities he has frequented.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Purple Aki’s real name?

Purple Aki’s real name is Akinwale Arobieke. He is an Englishman who gained notoriety in the North-West of England for his bizarre and criminal behavior.

What are Purple Aki’s criminal charges?

Purple Aki has faced several criminal charges over the years, including harassment, indecent assault, and witness intimidation.

Some of these charges stem from his obsession with touching and feeling people’s muscles, particularly those of young men.

Why did Purple Aki gain notoriety?

Purple Aki gained notoriety due to his strange behavior and criminal activities, which made him an urban legend in the North-West of England.

He has been known to approach people, usually young men, in public places and ask if he can touch or measure their muscles, sometimes offering to train them.

How did Purple Aki’s nickname originate?

The origin of Purple Aki’s nickname is unclear. Some believe it comes from his dark complexion resembling the color purple, while others think it may have originated from a play on his real name, Akinwale.

What was Purple Aki’s 2007 conviction about?

In 2007, Purple Aki was convicted of harassment and witness intimidation, resulting from an incident where he approached a young man and asked if he could touch his muscles.

The young man later testified against Purple Aki in court, leading to the conviction.

Has Purple Aki ever served time in prison?

Yes, Purple Aki has served time in prison for his criminal activities. He has been imprisoned multiple times on charges including harassment, witness intimidation, and indecent assault.

Despite serving time, he has continued to engage in similar behavior upon his release from custody.


Avatar of Danny Loeb
Danny Loeb
Danny Loeb is a qualified Personal Trainer, Fitness Model and Writer. He enjoys blogging about health and fitness, messing around with Photoshop, and sharing his experiences with everyone.

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