Sunday, 5 May 2013

The David Oluwale Saga.

The story of David Oluwale is one of mental health neglect and sheer malice and violence by two members of Leeds Police.  The unbelievable aspect of it was the twp protaganists were an Inspector and a Sergeant.  David Oluwale came from Nigeria, had mental health issues and was disabled.  He lived as a vagrant, and by accounts, was not a pleasant man.  But did that justify the campaign of violence and intimidation from two ranking Police Officers?  His body was found floating in the River Aire in 1969.  An investigation revealed that Oluwale had suffered at the hands of these two officers for nearly a year.

    In a trial, other officers admitted that DI Ellerker and DS Kitching used to give Oluwale, beatings in front of them and they stood by doing nothing.  The officers faced manslaughter charges as witnesses gave evidence that Oluwale went into the water due to being chased by a couple of men.   They were found Not Guilty of his manslaughter but were jailed for a number of assaults on him.  It seems that they used to go out looking for him, harrassing him, and if he responded, they could give him a beating. 

    Some people wanted a plaque to his memory putting up but one cynical officer responded with that who would want to know where Oluwale had a shit!  Fair point.  it seems that he never received proper medical care for his mental problems, a situation that that still goes on in Mental Health.  It should be of no surprise that Inspector Ellerker had already been jailed for attempting to pervert justice.  This involved a high ranking officer knocking down an elderly lady on a pedestrian crossing.  An attempt was made to show that the woman had been drinking.  Unfortunately, the lady in question was a well known teetotaller.  Two officers involved in the investigation were very unhappy about things being said, and reported them to the Coroner, rather than their superiors, citing a possible cover-up.  It resulted in a prison sentence for Ellerker and another officer named Nicholson.  Three other officers were cleared.