The Hounding of David Oluwale

The Hounding of David Oluwale


'David Oluwale's story has a raw power...and Kester Aspden makes it relevant for the reader of today' Mishal Husain

An award-winning microhistory that examines the death of David Oluwale and institutionalised police racism in Britain.

When, in May 1969, the body of David Oluwale was found in the River Aire near Leeds, few questions were asked about the circumstances of his death. Oluwale was homeless and had spent time in a psychiatric hospital, an immigrant from Nigeria who was trapped in a system that had failed him miserably.

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' Metro


  • David Oluwale’s story has a raw power, even five decades on, and Kester Aspden makes it compelling and relevant for the reader of today
    Mishal Husain

About the author

Kester Aspden

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.
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