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Sheku Bayoh: Former judge to head public inquiry

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image captionMr Bayoh died in 2015 after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy

The public inquiry into Sheku Bayoh's death in police custody will be led by a retired senior judge, the justice secretary has said.

Mr Bayoh died in 2015 after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy, with his family claiming that race played a part in his death.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced in November that a full public inquiry would be held.

He has now named Lord Bracadale as the inquiry's chairman.

Lord Bracadale became a High Court judge in 2003, and presided over some of the most high-profile criminal trials in recent Scottish history before retiring in 2017. He was also one of the prosecutors during the Lockerbie bombing trial, which led to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi being convicted in 2001.

Mr Yousaf said the former judge would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the inquiry, which has been tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding Mr Bayoh's death and the events that followed.

image captionLord Bracadale presided over many of Scotland's biggest criminal trials during his career

The justice secretary will now meet Lord Bracadale and the Bayoh family over the coming weeks before setting out the full remit of the inquiry.

The public inquiry was announced after it emerged that no police officers would face prosecution over Mr Bayoh's death.

Mr Bayoh's family said they felt "betrayed" by the decision not to prosecute the officers involved, who have always denied any wrongdoing.

How did Mr Bayoh die?

media captionThe BBC Disclosure programme features previously unseen footage

On the day he died, the father-of-two had been at a friend's house in the morning watching a boxing match. He had taken the drugs MDMA and another drug known as Flakka.

The drugs dramatically altered his behaviour, and he became aggressive with a friend. He later left home with a knife from his kitchen, and neighbours called the police. He had discarded the knife by the time police arrived.

Mr Bayoh, who was originally from Sierra Leone but had lived in Scotland since he was 17, was restrained by six officers and lost consciousness. He died at hospital soon, and was found to have suffered 23 injuries.

Days after Mr Bayoh's death, the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) lawyer Peter Watson told the media that "a petite female police officer was subjected to a violent and unprovoked attack by a very large man who punched, kicked and stamped on her."

But new evidence which was obtained by the BBC's Disclosure programme, including CCTV footage, cast doubt on some of the officers' accounts of the incident.

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