Decision due on police prosecutions over Sheku Bayoh’s death

Mr Bayoh died in 2015 after being restrained by officers responding to a call in Fife.

Investigation: Sheku Bayoh died in 2015. <strong>© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group</strong>
Investigation: Sheku Bayoh died in 2015. © HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

The family of Sheku Bayoh are set to hear whether Police Scotland officers will face prosecution over his death.

Mr Bayoh, 32, died in 2015 after being restrained by officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy in Fife.

Questions have been raised about his death by Mr Bayoh’s family, who have been critical of Police Scotland, the Crown Office and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) over what they describe as a lack of answers.

An investigation by the Pirc into the incident was completed and reported to the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe, in August 2016.

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In October last year, the Crown decided against bringing any prosecutions over the incident.

But the right to review the decision was invoked by the family, who will now hear on Monday whether any prosecutions will be brought.

At a meeting, the family of Mr Bayoh, along with their solicitor Aamer Anwar, will speak with the Lord Advocate, Solicitor General for Scotland Alison Di Rollo QC, Crown Counsel Alex Prentice QC, and Deputy Crown Agent Lindsey Miller.

A statement released on behalf of the Bayoh family by their solicitor Mr Anwar read: “Sheku’s family lost confidence a long time ago in the ability of the Pirc to carry out a robust and impartial investigation, yet they have tried desperately to maintain confidence in the present Lord Advocate and his team.

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“On Monday, questions will be asked of the Lord Advocate by the Bayoh family on whether he will finally pursue criminal charges.”

The statement added: “The Sheku Bayoh case is a fundamental test of the accountability of those who claim to be our guardians of law and order.

“In a civilised society there must never be a hiding place for those officers who break the law.”

Ahead of the decision, a spokesman for the Pirc said: “We were directed to investigate the circumstances of Mr Bayoh’s death on May 3, 2015 on behalf of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and submitted investigation reports to the COPFS in August 2015 and 2016.

“At all stages throughout this independent investigation, the Pirc has acted under the direction of the Lord Advocate who has ultimate responsibility for the investigation of deaths in Scotland.”

Police Scotland deputy chief constable Fiona Taylor said: “Our thoughts remain with Sheku Bayoh’s family and friends following his death, and we continue to offer support to anyone affected by this tragic incident.

“Police Scotland has been committed to cooperating with the Pirc and the Crown Office throughout this process, and whilst this continues we cannot comment further.”


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