Sheku Bayoh ‘took zombie drug’ before he died in custody

Sheku Bayoh, who died in police custody in May 2015. Picture: PA Wire
Sheku Bayoh, who died in police custody in May 2015. Picture: PA Wire
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Sheku Bayoh, the man who died in custody after being restrained by Police Scotland officers, had taken a drug linked to rage, delirium and paranoia, according to his death certificate.

Mr Bayoh, 31, had traces of alpha-PVP. an illegal substance also known as ‘flakka’ in his body when he died, it was reported today. The drug is said to have caused deaths and bizarre behaviour.

His death certificate also noted that Mr Bayoh, a father of two, had taken esctasy before he became involved in an altercation with poilce officers in a street near his home in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in May last year. It states that his cause of death as: “Sudden death in a man intoxicated by Methylenedioxmethamphetamine (ecsatasy) and alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone whilst being restrained”, according to reports.

A lawyer representing the Scottish Police Federation and seven of the officers under investigation in connection with Mr Bayoh’s death described the development as “highly significant”.

Peter Watson told a newspaper: “It reveals that Mr Bayoh had taken a psychoactive drug. It is a hyperstimulant, which leads to people going into a zombie-like state where they don’t respond to external communication, Significantly it is also connected with cardiac problems.”

Aamer Anwar, the solicitor representing Mr Bayoh’s family, said speculation about the document was “deeply unhelpful”.

Police officers detained Mr Bayoh after responding to reports of a man carrying a knife. They restrained him using arm and leg restraints, batons and CS spray. Mr Bayoh died in Kikrcaldy’s Victoria Hopsital. He had suffered cuts, bruises and grazes including two dozen injuries to his face and neck.

The officers have been accused of using excessive force.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner confirmed that its report into the incident is still being considered by the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe.