David Oluwale arrived in Hull as a stowaway from his native Nigeria in September 1949.  He served 28 days in Leeds Prison for his breach of maritime regulations.  Twenty years later, in May 1969, he was pulled out of the River Aire, at Knostrop in Leeds, where he had drowned.  David had spent ten of the sixteen years between 1953 and 1969 in High Royds Psychiatric Hospital; for the other six years he lived rough on the streets of Leeds. In November 1971, two Leeds police officers were acquitted of the manslaughter of David Oluwale, but were imprisoned for assaulting him.


Much has changed in Leeds since then.  We believe the city can now understand and sympathise with David’s difficult life and awful death.  Citizens of Leeds can think creatively about the plight of today’s rough sleepers, people with mental health issues, victims of police brutality, refugees, people on the receiving end of racism and ensure that none could suffer David’s fate in the Twenty-first century.


We are building a Garden of Hope in the centre of Leeds, close to where he was pitched into the River Aire, in memory of  David Oluwale. Work will start in the Spring of 2016. We campaign for the city to become place where social justice prevails, where marginalised groups are fully respected and included.