SEAN RIGG: Family “bitterly disappointed” by CPS decision not to charge Met officers involved in arrest

Sean Rigg
Sean Rigg

The family of Sean Rigg, who died in Brixton Police Station in 2008, have said they are ‘bitterly disappointed’ by a decision not to charge two police officers involved in his arrest.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced yesterday that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges for perjury and perverting the course of justice against sergeant Paul White and constable Mark Harratt.

Rigg, who suffered from Schizophrenia, died of a cardiac arrest at Brixton Police Station after being restrained in the prone position by officers for more than eight minutes.

Marcia Rigg, Sean’s sister, said her family was surprised and “bitterly” disappointed by the decision.

She added: “We categorically do not accept this decision, which only serves as further upset and anguish.

“We regard the evidence as compelling and strongly believe that a jury should have been given the opportunity to make a decision on the evidence. The public’s confidence in the British criminal justice system is tarnished by decisions like this.”

RESTRAINT: Pictures of the arrest taken by an eyewitness
RESTRAINT: Pictures of the arrest taken by an eyewitness

Yesterday, the CPS said it had considered allegations against White and Harratt about statements shown to be incorrect, but that it would be taking no further action.

Malcolm McHaffie, CPS deputy head of special crime, said: “Having considered the material provided to us, in great detail, we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute for any criminal offence.

“We appreciate that this decision may be disappointing to the family of Mr Rigg, but we have written to them to explain our position in detail and have offered to meet with them if they so wish.”

The statement follows news of the attempted resignation of PC Andrew Birks. The Met officer was on duty in Brixton Police station when Rigg was taken there.

Birks is one of five police officers still under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).  His application to resign was eventually refused by the Met.

Scotland Yard said White and Harratt may still face disciplinary charges in the form of misconduct proceedings, with input from the Met’s Director of Professional Standards, and material supplied by the IPCC from their investigation.
Marcia Rigg, right, says her family is bitterly disappointed with the decision
Marcia Rigg, right, says her family is bitterly disappointed with the decision

A police spokesman emphasised the Met’s sympathy to the Rigg family. He added: “We are aware that the CPS has decided not to charge the two MPS officers who gave evidence at the Sean Rigg inquest. The IPCC are currently supplying the MPS with material from their independent investigation.”



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