Police officer ‘stamped on by Sheku Bayoh’ showed discomfort, inquiry hears

A Scottish Police Federation representative has told the Sheku Bayoh Inquiry that an officer who is said to have been stamped on by the detainee appeared to be suffering from “discomfort”.

By Dan Barker
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 1:37 pm

Pc Amanda Givan was giving evidence to the inquiry, which is investigating the death of Mr Bayoh after he was restrained by nine police officers in Kirkcaldy on May 3 2015.

The officer, as a member of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), attended Kirkcaldy Police Station after the officers were sent back and Mr Bayoh was taken to hospital as paramedics fought to save his life.

The Pc told inquiry counsel Angela Grahame QC on Tuesday that officers were “all really anxious” when they were sat in the canteen waiting for more information on the 31-year-old.

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ormer PC Nicole Short (centre) who stands just 5ft 1in tall, was forced to retire after sustaining injuries during the detention of Sheku Bayoh Pic: Andrew Milligan

“They were worried,” Pc Givan told the Edinburgh-based inquiry.

“Again, from my recollections, I don’t think they had any update about what had happened or was ongoing, that they had been in the canteen with no feedback, no new information, so they were all a bit anxious.”

Mr Bayoh’s family have said they believe his race played a part in his treatment, but officers involved in his arrest in Kirkcaldy’s Hayfield Road have denied this.

The inquiry had previously heard from Pcs Ashley Tomlinson and Craig Walker that after Mr Bayoh punched their colleague Pc Nicole Short, he then stamped on her.

Sheku Bayoh died after being restrained to police follow reports of a man armed a knife in a Fife street

Pc Short was taken to hospital, but arrived back at the station later that morning, the inquiry heard.

“When Nicole arrived back, my recollection is that if she was going to speak to someone she entirely moved her body from her waist. She didn’t turn her head, she turned her entire body,” Pc Givan said.

“She appeared to have discomfort in her upper body which is why she was moving the way I thought she was moving.”

The witness added that Pc Short appeared to be avoiding moving her neck.

Pc Givan said when she arrived at the police station it appeared that nobody was in charge of the situation, and that people were coming in and out of the canteen where the officers sat, with no control in place.

The inquiry, chaired by Lord Bracadale, heard she had advised them not to speak about the case, but their formal warning did not take place until mid-morning. She said she did not believe it had been given before she arrived.

By the end of the day, officers were seen by a doctor and their uniform was seized, the hearing was told.

The inquiry previously heard from witnesses who dialled 999 after seeing Mr Bayoh in the street armed with a knife. One reported him chasing their car.

Other witnesses revealed he had been in a fight with a friend shortly before the incident and had poked him in the stomach with the knife.

A police officer found a blade near where he was detained and fell unconscious before an ambulance was summoned to the scene to take him to the nearby Victoria Hospital where attempts to resuscitate him failed.

The inquiry continues.