Sean Rigg custody death: Watchdog requests new hearings

Sean RiggImage copyright

Image caption

Sean Rigg died in police custody in 2008

The police watchdog has said five officers should face gross misconduct hearings over the death in custody of a mentally ill man.

Sean Rigg, 40, who had schizophrenia, died from cardiac arrest at Brixton police station in August 2008 after being restrained by officers.

Last year it was ruled none of the officers involved should be prosecuted.

This month the Met Police stopped Sgt Paul White from retiring because he would otherwise have avoided a hearing.

Sarah Green, the regional director for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), confirmed on Friday she had recommended the gross misconduct hearings.

In a statement, she also said two of the five officers should face hearings over allegations they knowingly misled both the police watchdog and an inquest into Mr Rigg’s death.

A Met Police spokesman said the force “remains in correspondence with the IOPC regarding if there is a case to answer for any of the officers”.

“Until that is finalised it would not be appropriate to discuss this publically,” it added.

Image caption

Sean Rigg’s sister Marcia said the ongoing delay has caused her a “high degree of stress”

In 2012 an inquest jury found that police had used unsuitable force when they arrested Mr Rigg, a musician.

He was handcuffed, forcefully restrained face down and confined in a police van.

Mr Rigg collapsed after arriving at the station, where he had been put in a holding area, and died from a heart attack.

Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service decided no officers should be prosecuted over his death.

Another of the five officers, PC Andrew Birks, is now working as an Anglican curate while suspended from the force.

This week he has been in the High Court trying to overturn a ban on him resigning from the Met Police.

Lawyers representing Marcia Rigg-Samuel, Mr Rigg’s sister, told the court the ongoing delay has caused her a “high degree of stress”.

Judgement has been reserved to a later date.

Source :