One of the policemen involved in the restraint of a black man who died in custody has a history of violence and racism, it has been alleged. Sheku Bayoh, originally from Sierra Leone, died after being arrested in Kirkcaldy.
The BBC has obtained statements alleging that PC Alan Paton carried out a sustained attack on his own parents at their home in 2005, while he was on duty. The attack was said to have left his mother, Ann Paton, now 61, unconscious, and his father, John Paton, 65, severely bruised and battered. Paton's parents elected not to pursue a complaint, after being assured by senior officers the matter would be dealt with internally.
Barry Swan, Paton's brother in law, told the BBC he had witnessed the aftermath of the alleged attack, and wanted to let the Bayoh family know about the police officer's past said: "What kind of person can actually do that to their own parents?... A frail old man who'd basically been put through something he should never have been put through, he was literally black down one side. You knew instantly it wasn't one hit, he'd bee kicked, he'd been stamped on. He'd had a major kicking.”
Swan also alleged that the Paton had admitted to being racist in the weeks since Mr Bayoh's death saying "He out and out admitted that he was a racist, that he hates them, as he puts it - all the blacks. It's not right he's a police officer."
CCTV evidence shows Mr Bayoh approaching the police at about 07:20. pictures show that he did not have a knife. At least two officers, including PC Paton, who until now has only been known as officer A, said that they believed they could be facing a terrorist incident.
At least four and up to six officers, including PC Paton, were immediately involved in the encounter. CS spray and police batons were used and within about 30 seconds, Mr Bayoh was brought to the ground, face down. Handcuffs and leg restraints were applied. PC Paton and a colleague known as officer B, who were two of the first on the scene, were understood to have a combined weight of about 43 stones. Eyewitness reports suggested that officers were kneeling and lying on Mr Bayoh in order to restrain him. Less than five minutes after the encounter began, Mr Bayoh was noticed to be unconscious and one officer radioed for an ambulance. A further five minutes later, the ambulance still had not arrived, and an officer reported to base that Mr Bayoh was no longer breathing. A post-mortem examination revealed a series of injuries over his body, face and head, including a deep gash across his forehead.
Tiny blood spots, or petechial haemorrhages were discovered in his eyes - a sign of potential asphyxia. The post mortem examination declared he had died after taking the drug MDMA, while being restrained. But a report by a renowned pathologist is expected to say the cause of death was positional asphyxia - effectively being suffocated as a result of the position his body was in. Positional asphyxia is a common cause of death in police custody where restraint is involved.
The Bayoh family lawyer, Aamer Anwar said that there had been a smear campaign against Mr Bayoh in the days after his death. He said: "The attempt to criminalise Sheku Bayoh in his death - the dead can't answer back but his family have answered for him.
"He wasn't 6ft plus, he was 5ft 10in. He wasn't super-sized, he was 12 stone 10 pounds. He wasn't brandishing a knife at a police officer. He didn't stab a police officer. In fact he wasn't carrying a knife when the police officers attended. He didn't attempt to stab anyone, and he wasn't found with a knife on him. Those are the actual facts."