Met officers accused of cover-up in Sean Rigg's police station death


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The Independent Online

A Metropolitan police officer has been accused of lying and concocting a false story with his colleague as part of a wider “ruse” to cover-up police failings, an inquest into a death in custody has heard.

PC John Rees was accused of "deliberately misleading" the jury at the inquest into the death of Sean Rigg, a mentally ill man who died at Brixton Police station in south London in 2008 – a short time after he was physically restrained and arrested by several other officers.

PC Rees and his partner, who attended the hostel where Mr Rigg lived more than three hours after a 999 call, made statements six months after his death to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Both made the same error in statements when they claimed they arrived at the hostel 30 minutes earlier than they actually did. They also both stated they only became aware of Mr Rigg's violent behaviour and subsequent arrest in a nearby street from a radio message they received while at the hostel.

The jury was told yesterday that PC Rees' version of events would not have been possible as, by the time they attended the hostel, an hour after Mr Rigg had left, he was already lying unconscious in the caged area at Brixton police station. PC Rees, it was suggested by the barrister representing the Rigg family, had been sent to the hostel knowing that Mr Rigg was in a bad state in Brixton police station, to try to cover-up the police's "inadequacies".

The inquest continues.