The Rights of the Police Must be Defended says Top Lawyer

Glasgow, May 14, 2015: The legal adviser to the Scottish Police Federation has strongly criticised statements made at a press conference in Edinburgh by the family and lawyers of the late Sheku Bayoh.

Professor Peter Watson of PBW Law said: “I am disturbed about the unhelpful and ill-informed comments being made by the family lawyer.

“Whilst it is deeply regrettable that Mr Bayoh lost his life, I would ask the media and public to remember that a petite female police officer was chased and then subjected to a violent and unprovoked attack by a very large man who punched, kicked and stamped on her. The officer believed she was about to be murdered and I can say that but for the intervention of the other officers that was the likely outcome.

“The family’s advisers appear to believe that the police do not have the same legal rights as other members of the public. They do, and I intend to defend these rights robustly. We all seek the truth and part of that truth will lie in part in the post-mortem and toxicology reports which will follow in due course. Calls for the suspension of the officers serve no purpose and do nothing but add unhelpful rhetoric in a difficult situation for all.”


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Notes to editors:
Professor Peter Watson has advised the Scottish Police Federation for 25 years.
Professor Watson also played a key role in the following cases:-

  • Piper Alpha Disaster Group
  • The Braer Tanker Disaster Group
  • The Lockerbie Air Disaster Group
  • The RAF Chinook crash on the Mull of Kintyre
  • Representing the families of 16 pupils in the Dunblane Primary school massacre
  • The inquiry into the death of rally champion Colin McRae
  • The Shirley McKie fingerprint inquiry