THE parents of a St Helens boy – terrorised by an obsessive and dangerous man who was jailed on Monday – have spoken exclusively to The Reporter.
The couple who wish to remain anonymous, spoke after Akinwale Arobieke – known as Purple Aki – aged 42, from Liverpool, was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
The 6ft 5 inches, 20 stone man, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of harassment and one count of witness intimidation at Preston Crown Court.
Sentencing Arobieke, Judge Slinger said: "You are a danger to young men and your behaviour is both strange and obsessive."
He added: "The sentence reflects the need to protect the public as well as to punish you for your crimes."
The case was mounted against Arobieke after 123 people – many from St Helens – were interviewed by police about his harassment of young men.
The couple said: "Many young lads in the town went through a lot of pain and suffering at the hands of this man. We wanted to let them know that they don't have to fear Purple Aki anymore – he is not above the law as he would have had them believe. We also wanted to thank all the young men who came forward to give statements, without which there would have been no case."
Their son's determination to give evidence against Arobieke forced the family into a witness protection programme.
They said: "We had a panic alarm fitted and video surveillance on the house, but we were determined not to allow this man to continue to terrify young lads."
Over a period of three years Arobieke had approached and followed young men in a sinister and persistent manner.
"He would turn up everywhere our son went and knew information about where he lived and details about us and the rest of his family. This obsessive behaviour progressively got worse and Arobieke would force our son to remote places, where he would touch his legs and arms," said the couple.
"When our son came home one time, he was on his knees and physically trembling. It was very frightening and that is when we realised we needed to act."
During the sentencing Arobieke was also subjected to an indefinite Restraining Order that means he must stay away from all the young men involved in the case, their families and home addresses.
Det Supt, Mike Dale, said: "Over the years Akinwale Arobieke has been persistent in his pursuit and harassment of a number of young men, instilling fear into them.
"We are pleased with the sentencing. Most importantly it's to the credit of the witnesses, who despite their fears and apprehensions, have remained steadfast and determined to see justice done and this man prosecuted to stop him from making other peoples' lives a misery."
Arobieke had just finished serving a 30 month prison sentence for threats to kill.