Metropolitan Police Misconduct Hearing
Hearing room, 14th Floor, Empress State
Building, Lillie Road, SW6

Opens 9:30am, 21 January 2019
Listed for 6 weeks
Those who wish to attend must register in advance here

A police misconduct panel will consider allegations of gross misconduct against five police officers in relation to the death of Sean Rigg, including actions of officers during subsequent investigations. The hearing will be held in public and is scheduled for 6 weeks, beginning on the 21 January.

Sean, aged 40, was suffering mental ill health at the time of his arrest and was restrained by Metropolitan Police Officers. He died at Brixton police station on 21 August 2008. The officers are facing gross misconduct charges relating to the method of restraint, the accounts relating to restraint, as well as for the failure to identify and treat Sean as a person with mental ill health, and for evidence given at the inquest.

The misconduct panel will consider whether the conduct of officers amounts to a Breach of Standards of Professional Behaviour, in respect of: Honesty and Integrity, Duties and Responsibilities, Use of Force, and Abuse of Authority. If proven, sanctions range from a formal written warning to dismissal from the police force.

Sean Rigg’s case has attracted significant public concern. Issues arising from his death have been pivotal in prompting and informing many national and international reviews of policing, mental health and race; including the first ever Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini, published in October 2017.

Marcia Rigg, Sister of Sean Rigg, said: "My family at this stage of the investigation deserve to witness a fair, transparent and truthful hearing into our beloved brother's death."

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said: “Sean’s family and the public look to this panel to ensure robust scrutiny of the actions of these officers, against the mandatory standards of policing and care which should have kept Sean safe. This must also include concerns about the truth of the evidence given by those officers afterwards.”


For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

Members of the public and media who wish to attend must register for each of the days they wish to attend in advance, at the very latest by 3pm the day before. The public gallery has limited capacity, so it is recommended that places are booked as soon as practicable. Register through the Metropolitan Police booking system.

See the full Metropolitan Police Notice of Misconduct Hearing for information: Hearing for PC Andrew Birks, PC Richard Glasson, PC Matthew Forward, PC Mark Harratt and PS Paul White. Directed by the IOPC to be held in public, in respect of 5 officers arising from the death of Sean Rigg.

INQUEST has been working with the family of Sean Rigg since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Daniel Machover and Helen Stone of Hickman and Rose Solicitors, Leslie Thomas QC and Tom Stoate of Garden Court Chambers, Jude Bunting of Doughty Street Chambers, and Alison Macdonald QC of Matrix Chambers.

Brief background

  • On 21 August 2008, Sean Rigg died of a cardiac arrest following restraint in the prone position, which was deemed ‘unnecessary’ and ‘unsuitable’ by an inquest jury in in 2012. Sean had been a patient of South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLAM), who was also criticised. Full inquest conclusions details (August 2012) here. Full family response here.

  • The Coroner in November 2012 issued a highly critical Prevention of Future Deaths report (known at the time as Rule 43) which identified ongoing concerns and critical learning for the Metropolitan Police Service and mental health services involved. Full info here.

  • In April 2018 the IOPC announced their decision to direct gross misconduct charges.