Sheku Bayoh: Public inquiry into death in police custody to begin next week

An independent public inquiry into the death of a man who was restrained by police will begin on Monday, it has been announced.

Sheku Bayoh died in May 2015 while being held by officers who were responding to a call in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

The 32-year-old’s family claimed race played a part in his death and they criticised the subsequent investigation.

Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced the inquiry last November, with the scope of the hearing determined in May.

Lord Bracadale, retired senator of the College of Justice, will lead the inquiry, with proceedings to be announced shortly.

Mr Yousaf has also appointed Michael Fuller and Raju Bhatt as assessors to support Lord Bracadale.

On Thursday, the Justice Secretary said: “The family of Mr Bayoh have shown remarkable dignity and perseverance during their five-year wait for an inquiry into the death of Sheku.

“I hope that today’s announcement gives them comfort and reassurance that the circumstances surrounding his death will be examined in a public and transparent manner.

“Lord Bracadale and I worked closely together in selecting the assessors and we agreed that Mr Fuller and Mr Bhatt would provide extensive levels of experience and expertise to the inquiry.”

He added: “The formal start of the inquiry is a key milestone and I am confident the assessors will ably assist the chair to consider issues relevant to the terms of reference.

“The inquiry will examine the circumstances leading up to the death of Mr Bayoh, the post-incident management process and subsequent investigation.

“The inquiry will also establish the extent to which Mr Bayoh’s actual or perceived race played a part in events, if any.”