Kester Aspden

The Hounding of David Oluwale
  • The Hounding of David Oluwale

  • An extraordinary 'micro-history' which examines institutionalised police racism in Britain.

    ‘David Oluwale’s story has a raw power…and Kester Aspden makes it compelling and relevant for the reader of today’ Mishal Husain

    When, in May 1969, the body of David Oluwale was fished out of the River Aire near Leeds, not too many questions were asked about the circumstances of his death. Oluwale was a tramp and a patient in a mental hospital, an immigrant from Nigeria who was trapped in a system that failed him miserably - a police charge sheet from just two weeks earlier had 'BRIT' scored out, his nationality replaced with 'WOG'.

    Eighteen months later a lengthy campaign of harassment by two Leeds policemen was uncovered - Oluwale became national news in Britain, and a symbol for its black community. This extraordinary book draws on original archival material only recently released to revisit one of the most chilling crimes in British history, and at the same time raises questions as relevant today as they were at the end of the sixties.

    Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2008

    ‘Aspden's painstaking research, empathetic approach and ability to weave together a vivid wider social critique show Oluwale was done a terrible disservice... This tenderly compiled book will still make you weep’ Metro

Kester Aspden was born in Toronto in 1968, and raised in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and York. He has a doctorate in history from Cambridge University, and taught history of crime at Leeds University whilst researching this book. He now lives in Istanbul.