Sheku Bayoh: Mother seeks justice over son’s death

Aminata Bayoh, right, whose son died in Kirkcaldy while in police custody. Picture: George Mcluskie

Aminata Bayoh, right, whose son died in Kirkcaldy while in police custody. Picture: George Mcluskie

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THE mother of a man who died in police custody has made a plea for justice following her son’s death.

Sheku Bayoh, 31, died in Kirkcaldy on Sunday after being detained by police in an incident which left a female officer injured.

Sheku Bayoh, who died in Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy, while in police custody. Picture: Contribtued

Sheku Bayoh, who died in Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy, while in police custody. Picture: Contribtued

Aminata Bayoh, who travelled from Sierra Leone earlier this week, was joined by around 200 people for a vigil on Wednesday night in the street where her son had lived with his partner and young son.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc), which is carrying out an investigation into the circumstances leading up to Mr Bayoh’s death, said it had so far seen a “heartening” response from the public following an appeal for information.

It continues to appeal for witnesses who were in the town’s Hayfield Road between 7am and 8am on Sunday.

The family’s solicitor, Aamer Anwar, has said relatives were given five different versions of events by police officers following Mr Bayoh’s death.

Aminata Bayoh, centre, whose son died in Kirkcaldy while in police custody. Picture: George Mcluskie

Aminata Bayoh, centre, whose son died in Kirkcaldy while in police custody. Picture: George Mcluskie

He said Mr Bayoh’s family had been told things which were “simply untrue”.

The family, which is due to meet with Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland next week, have hired respected pathologist Professor Anthony Busuttil - who recently gave evidence during the World’s End murder trial - to help ascertain the cause of death.

Mr Bayoh, who came to Scotland from Sierra Leone, worked for British Gas and lived with his partner, Collette Bell, and their three-month-old son, Isaac.

He has another son to a previous partner.

Mourners gather in Kirkcaldy for Sheku Bayoh, who died in police custody. Picture: Gordon Mcluskie

Mourners gather in Kirkcaldy for Sheku Bayoh, who died in police custody. Picture: Gordon Mcluskie

It is believed he was struck with a baton and pepper-sprayed before his death.

Police Scotland released a short statement following the incident on Sunday in which it described the death as a “tragic set of circumstances”.

The force has since declined to comment following the commencement of the PIRC investigation, and the condition of the injured female officer is unknown.

Local reports have suggested Mr Bayoh may have been the victim of positional asphyxiation while being restrained by police officers.

In a statement, the Pirc said: “Inquiries by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) continue into the circumstances leading to the death of Sheku Ahmed Tejan Bayoh, 31, on 3 May 2015.

“A meeting was held with the family and their solicitor yesterday and they have been updated with the progress of the investigation. Liaison with the family will continue. PIRC investigators are continuing with house to house investigations in Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy.

“The response for information from the local community has been heartening, but it is important that anyone else with information about the incident which occurred in Hayfield Road near to Hendry Road, Kirkcaldy, between 7am and 8am on Sunday 3 May 2015, make contact with the PIRC investigators.”

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