Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Police reject Sheku Bayoh custody death criticism

Sheku Bayoh Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Sheku Bayoh died in police custody on Sunday 3 May

A Scottish Police Federation lawyer has hit out at criticism from representatives of the family of a Fife man who died in police custody.

Sheku Bayoh, 31, was held following an incident in Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy, on 3 May but died in custody.

His relatives claim they were told five different versions of what happened.

Peter Watson of PBW Law said: "Comments made by those representing the family of the deceased promote a completely inaccurate and misleading account."

He added: "The officer injured remains off work, has had several hospital visits and is now in rehabilitation.

"An examination by a leading consultant confirms her injuries were significant. The injuries have been documented and photographed.

"The officers involved have never refused to provide statements. It was agreed at the outset with the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) that they would revert to us when they wanted statements and when they were clear on the basis that statements were to be given.

"PIRC emailed me this morning at 10:46 asking for our assistance to organise interviews and we answered at 11:29 confirming we would be pleased to assist. Those are the facts."

'Bizarre rhetoric'

Brian Docherty, Scottish Police Federation chairman, criticised comments made by the Bayoh family's lawyer Aamer Anwar.

He said: "Mr Anwar can try to throw whatever mud he wishes but the fact remains that a petite female police officer was violently assaulted by a large male and believed she was going to die as a consequence.

"In directing increasingly hyperbolic, inaccurate and bizarre rhetoric at the Scottish Police Federation, one could be mistaken for believing that Mr Anwar being at the centre of attention appears to be of greater importance than allowing the investigation to proceed without interference."

PIRC is carrying out an investigation into the death of Mr Bayoh, who had two young sons.

Last month lawer Mr Anwar said Mr Bayoh was a "well-liked, peaceful and healthy young man" who had no previous history of violence.

Mr Anwar said: "The family does not understand why the officers involved in engaging with Sheku Bayoh were not immediately suspended without prejudice after his death.

"It is a matter of wider public concern that officers remain at their desks or in contact with the public pending the outcome of the investigation into a death in custody."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites