Family mark Bayoh anniversary privately as case waits for a conclusion

The family of Sheku Bayoh have condemned the delay into the investigation into his death and say they will continue to fight for justice.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 10:00 am
The family of the late Sheku Bayoh (pictured with their solicitor Aamer Anwar) have vowed to clear his name. Picture: Ian Rutherford.

It was just over one year ago on May 3, 2015 that 31-year-old father-of-two Sheku died during an altercation with police officers on Kirkcaldy’s Hayfield Road.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), Kate Frame, is in charge of the investigation, with a report expected to be sent to the Crown Office over the next few weeks.

But Sheku’s brother-in-law, Ade Johnson, said the family were “not happy” with the length of time the investigation has taken.

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“We want a public inquiry into what happened and why this has taken so long.

“We’ve seen the CCTV footage - the Crown Office has an easy decision to make.”

Mr Johnson said that they will continue in their quest for legal aid.

“We want justice but we need access to funds to help us.

“There were nine police officers there that morning. But if there had been nine civilians and one police officer had died, would it have taken this long?

“Would they have brought in experts to look at the working of the brain or the body shape? No.

“We want to know what happened before, during and after Sheku died.”

The family’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said the case was similar to the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster and said officers “closed ranks” when Sheku died.

He said: “As we have seen from Hillsborough it is instinctive for police officers to blame the dead rather than their own and for families to be placed in the perverse situation of relying on the police for the truth.

“The Bayoh’s have been expected with no resources to take on the might of the Police Federation and Police Scotland simply to find out what happened to Sheku.

“No opportunity has been missed to demonise Sheku, the dead can’t answer back, but his family have for him. The Bayoh’s have grown tired of being spoken to like ‘petulant children’ by those who run the PIRC. Yet at all times the family have conducted themselves with dignity.”

A spokesman for the PIRC said: “The commissioner recognises the tragic circumstances in which Sheku Bayoh died and her investigation is committed to getting to the truth of what happened that day.”

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation said: “The Scottish Police Federation looks forward to as early a Fatal Accident Inquiry as is possible in order that the full circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Bayoh can be examined”