Sheku Bayoh's family have lost confidence in PIRC investigation

Sheku Bayoh's family yesterday met with Scotland's Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland. the meeting comes 16 weeks after Sheku's death in police custody in Kirkcaldy.

An interim report by PIRC (the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner ) into the circumstances of Sheku's death was delivered to the Lord Advocate on the 7 August.

The family say they have lost confidence in the PIRC investigation and have described yesterday's meeting with the Lord Advocate as "very robust and honest". They say they "retain faith" in the ability of the Lord Advocate to search for the truth, but that their faith "is not blind."

In a statement issued on behalf of the family after the meeting, their lawyer Aamer Anwar said:

"The family expressed grave reservations as to the PIRC’s impartiality or robustness and believe that PIRC have failed to use their powers to hold police officers to account.

Many of the concerns raised today were addressed by the Lord Advocate, whilst other matters will form the basis of further inquiries.  It is unlikely that the final report will be completed for several weeks if not several months.

Sheku Bayoh’s family have instructed some of the country’s leading pathologists and a legal team for a reason, to ensure that they are not taken for fools and patronised.

The family’s own legal team have uncovered matters of serious concern that have been referred to the Chief Constable for investigation.

The Bayoh family now have a pretty accurate account of what happened, but chose not to release a great deal of information into the public domain so as not to prejudice any potential criminal proceedings but also because of their faith in the Lord Advocate’s team."

Aamer Anwar added:

"Sheku Bayoh’s family has desperately tried to keep an open mind, but now believe those investigating the death  have not.

There has been much speculation about the cause of death, which is still to be determined. The possibility of positional asphyxiation didn’t come from the family but came directly from the Crown.

The family is concerned that the investigation has focused all of its energy on everything apart from what the Police did to restrain Sheku Bayoh.

Relevant CCTV footage has been secured, including mobile phone footage from civilians. The family has requested the Lord Advocate release the CCTV footage of Sheku’s final moments to stop the poisonous and systematic leaking of material to the media by police sources."

He concluded:

"The Bayoh family expect the Lord Advocate to leave no stone unturned in the search for the truth. They retain faith in his ability to do so, but that that faith is not blind."

Sheku's partner Colette Bell said:

"I believe that if the police hadn’t treated my Sheku the way they did, he would be here today, I am fed up of the lies and the attempt to blame Sheku for his own death."

A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Serrvice (COPFS) is reported by The National to have said:

"There remains work to be done by PIRC before their investigation is complete. The Crown will take the PIRC report into account when carrying out its own investigations and will assess whether or not there should be a criminal prosecution.

In order for any criminal prosecution to happen, there must be sufficient evidence in law that a crime has been committed.

The family have been advised, by the Lord Advocate, that as part of the ongoing investigation there are a number of complex issues relating to the cause of death and experts in the field have been instructed to assist in dealing with these issues.

The Lord Advocate has reiterated the undertaking previously given to the family that the enquiry will be thorough and completed as soon as is possible."

The Justice for Sheku Bayoh Campaign was launched in Glasgow on 25 July at an event co-organised by the Justice for Sheku Bayoh Campaign and SACC.

More Information

Full statement by Aamer Anwar on behalf of the family after their meeting with the Lord Advocate, 26 August 2015

Full statement by Aamer Anwar at the launch of the Justice for Sheku Bayoh Campaign, Glasgow, 25 July 2015