Sheku Bayoh: The Inquiry podcast – The death message 5

Sheku Bayoh: The Inquiry podcast – The death message

Sheku Bayoh: The Inquiry podcast – The death message 6

Episode four: The death message

“I remember asking them because I remember wanting to know what had happened. I mean, he’s not just dropped down dead. And they just said that a passer-by had found him dead on the street.” Collette Bell, partner of Sheku Bayoh

It’s now eight years since Sheku’s loved ones were told by police that he had died. That trauma, they say, was compounded by how the news was broken to them. 

They claim that a catalogue of errors, miscommunications and lies within hours of Sheku’s death led to a total breakdown of trust that can’t be regained.  Police, meanwhile, admit errors were made but insist the intention was never to misrepresent the truth.

In this episode we’ll hear what Sheku’s partner, Colette Bell, and his older sister Kadi Johnson, have told the inquiry about how the news was broken to them, the way details of Sheku’s contact with police was held back and the impact that had on the trust they had for the police.

And we’ll also find out what Police Scotland has to say about the decisions made in the hours following the tragic events on the 3rd of May.

Read the script in full

  • Written and produced by Karin Goodwin
  • Research by Tomiwa Folorunso
  • Recording, editing and sound design by Halina Rifai
  • Original music by Alan Bryden

Listen to all the evidence from the Sheku Bayoh Inquiry, or find out how to get a ticket to attend in person at

To make this podcast we’re spent hours listening to all of the evidence so we can summarise it for you, our listeners. And we need your support to do more. 

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