PROBE CONFLICT: £604K public cash inquiry magnate Ex Lord Advocate appointed to investigate Police complaints – linked to lawyers representing cops facing complaints
Ex Lord Advocate conflict of interest in inquiry role. A FORMERLord Advocate who has links to lawyers and a suspended judge who represent the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) and cops facing complaints – has been appointed to review how complaints are handled against cops.
However, details released of the review fail to mention that Dame Elish Angiolini (nee McPhilomy) – hired Levy and Mcrae – who have been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by Police Scotland & the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) – to get cops off the hook from complaints – including probes into deaths.
One of the lawyers linked to ex Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini – is suspended Sheriff Peter Watson.
Watson, who was suspended from the judicial bench by Lord Brian Gill in 2015, after being named in a £28m writ linked to bust hedge fund Heather Capital – represents Police officers facing complaints and investigations by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
Meanwhile Watson and his now former law firm Levy and Mcrae – also scoop up public cash for representing cops who are being investigated over complaints.
A recent report in the Scottish Sun found Police paid £187,000 to Peter Watson’s law firm PBW law for legal fees for representing cop clients facing complaints and other ‘issues’.
The newspaper also reported Police Scotland also paid £364,830 in charges over three years to Watson’s former law firm Levy & McRae – who are also linked to Angiolini.
Records also show Peter Watson represents Police Officers on behalf of the Scottish Police Federation – who assign Watson to officers facing difficult complaints investigations.
One of the high profile cases where Watson represents cops being investigated over complaints – includes the three year investigation of Police Officers involved in the death of Sheku Bayoh.
Sheku, 31, died after being restrained by nine officers responding to reports of a man carrying the knife in the street in Kirkcaldy. Officers used CS spray, pepper spray and batons, after it was claimed Sheku struck Short. Dad-of-two Sheku lost consciousness and died in hospital shortly afterwards.
The Daily Record reported that Days after Sheku’s death in Police custody, the very same lawyer linked to Angiolini – Peter Watson – who now has his own law firm PBW Law – issued a statement on behalf of the Scottish Police Federation and the officers involved.
He claimed Sheku “punched, kicked and stamped on” a female officer. However, none of this has been proved and a probe into the death is still underway.
The paper also reported Watson threatened the family of the deceased Mr Bayoh, in relation to a facebook posting, claiming the contents were a ‘breach of criminal law’.
A recent report in the Sunday Mail newspaper revealed PC Alan Paton, 44, has been paid about £75,000 to remain at home while the inquiry into the death of Mr Bayoh in Police custody, continues – three years after the events occurred.
A second officer involved in the investigation, PC Nicole Short, is also being paid similar amounts while off duty since Sheku’s death in 2015.