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Family response to CPS decision not to prosecute any further officers in relation to the death of Sean Rigg in 2008
15 September 2016
Sean Rigg died in Brixton police station in August 2008 following prolonged restraint by police.
In August 2012, the jury at the inquest 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.
CPS has decided no officer will face charges in relation to Sean Rigg’s death.
Following a review of the evidence the CPS determined there was insufficient evidence to charge any of the five officers involved in the arrest, restraint and detention of Mr Rigg. The IPCC provided the CPS with a full file of evidence in March 2016.
The IPCC provided the Metropolitan Police Service with a report in February 2016 detailing the investigator's findings as to whether or not any of the officers involved has a case to answer for either misconduct or gross misconduct and is awaiting the force's response to those findings.
Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said:
“The CPS’s decision is deeply disappointing but not surprising given their track record. Sean Rigg’s family have struggled at every stage of this eight year process for truth and justice, demonstrating the deep flaws in the system that should hold the police to account after deaths in custody”
Marcia Rigg, Sean Rigg’s sister and campaigner said:
“Today, more than eight years after my brother died, I was informed that none of the officers involved in his death will face prosecution for what happened that day. After a damning review of the original IPCC investigation, and a successful challenge of the decision not to prosecute an officer for perjury, I had hoped for an opportunity to get justice. ”
Daniel Machover, solicitor for the Rigg family, said:
“There are some serious concerns about the legal basis of the CPS decision today. The family will now urgently consider reviewing it under the Victims’ Right of Review.”
INQUEST has been working with the family of Sean Rigg since his death. 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.
For further information, please contact Gerard Pitt at Hickman and Rose Tel: 0207 700 2211.
INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths. Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.
‘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