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CPS decides not to prosecute police officers in relation to their evidence at the inquest into the death of Sean Rigg
7 October 2014
The Crown Prosecution Service announced today that it will not prosecute two police officers in relation to perverting the course of justice and perjury allegations regarding the evidence they gave to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and at the inquest into the death of Sean Rigg following a criminal investigation into their conduct at the inquest.
Sean Rigg died in Brixton police station in August 2008 following prolonged restraint by police.
In August 2012, the jury at the inquest into Sean Rigg’s death returned a damning verdict criticising the actions of the police and the unsuitable use of restraint. Since then, an independent review heavily criticised the original IPCC investigation and the IPCC made the decision to re-open the disciplinary and criminal investigations into Sean’s death.
Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg said:
"My family is surprised and bitterly disappointed by today’s announcement by the CPS not to charge Sgt White and PC Harratt for offences arising from their evidence to the IPCC and at Sean's Inquest two years ago. We categorically do not accept this decision, which only serves as further upset and anguish. We regard the evidence as compelling and strongly believe that a jury should have been given the opportunity to make a decision on the evidence. The public’s confidence in the British criminal justice system is tarnished by decisions like this."
Helen Shaw, co-director of INQUEST said:
“It is deeply disappointing that the CPS have made this decision. For over six years Sean Rigg’s family have had to struggle at every stage for truth and justice demonstrating the deep flaws in the system for scrutinising and holding the police to account after deaths in custody at the time of Sean’s death.”
INQUEST has been working with the family of Sean Rigg since his death in August 2008. The Rigg family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Leslie Thomas and Thomas Stoate of Garden Court Chambers, Jude Bunting of Doughty Street Chambers, and Daniel Machover and Helen Stone of Hickman and Rose Solicitors.
‘At the time of the tragedy, I had no idea of what to do or who to turn to. By luck, I found yourselves and contacted you, the rest as we say is history. On behalf of [my brother's] family, friends and myself I would just like to thank you so much for your professional support and advice during that difficult period and without that help, I do not think we would be where we are today.’
– Brother of a man who died in police custody