The policeman who was allegedly stomped on by Sheku Bayoh in the minutes before he died while being restrained had no obvious and significant injuries, according to three doctors who examined him.
Earlier, two other officers told the inquest into Bayoh’s death in custody in Kirkcaldy in 2015 that they saw him punch former PC Nicole Short after which she fell to the ground and he knocked her out” trampled” in the back.
Dr. Katherine Mitchell, an accident and emergency specialist who examined Short shortly after the confrontation with Bayoh, confirmed that the history made no mention of the stamping.
Short told the inquest earlier that she had no recollection of the alleged stamping and that it was not until later, when the officers involved in the arrest gathered in the staff canteen, that co-workers told her they thought she was knocked out and saw Bayoh. “trampling and kicking her”.
Mitchell was asked about Short’s testimony in which she described feeling searing pain in her right side after the assault. “If she had complained of a shooting pain in her right side when you examined her, would you have noted that?” he was asked.
“I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t,” Mitchell replied.
Bayoh died handcuffed and suffered multiple injuries after officers responded to calls from the public about a knife-wielding man behaving erratically on a Sunday morning in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in May 2015.
The independent inquest, led by Lord Bracadale and set in Edinburgh, is the result of years of campaigning by Bayoh’s family, who believe his death was caused by positional asphyxiation due to the tactics used by the police. They allege the officers overreacted and were motivated by racial bias.
Dr. Gillian Norrie, a medical examiner who examined Short later the day of the incident, noted no back or kidney injuries.
In her medical notes, Norrie said she was told the officer had been “stamped”, information she said came from Short herself.
Previously, PC Ashley Tomlinson told the inquest that Bayoh was “trampling [Short’s] back” so loudly he thought she was dead, while PC Craig Walker demonstrated a “full strength timbre” with his arms up. Those accounts are disputed by another witness, Kevin Nelson, who said last week that the stamping descriptions were “not possible”.
Dr Ian Anderson, an expert witness who interviewed Short three weeks after the incident on the instructions of her attorney, said she suffered injuries consistent with blows to the head, but agreed that while Short’s testimony these agents were accepted, he would have expected there to be visible signs of this on his body.
When asked if he agreed with Dr Rudy Crawford’s statement that “there was certainly no evidence of serious injuries from trampling”, Anderson replied: “Yes, I do. “.
Crawford, who was asked to review Short’s records for the Crown Office, told the inquest: ‘There was certainly no evidence of serious injury from the stamping. From my perspective, trampling is a very dangerous and life-threatening mechanism of injury, it can cause very serious, life-changing injuries.
The investigation is continuing.