Mrs Shelia Sylvester's Statement
Roger Sylvester Family Demand
Thursday 17 August 2000, 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Outside the Home Office. 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London.
The family and friends of Roger Sylvester held a vigil outside the
Home Office on Thursday 17th August 2000 on what would have been
Roger's 32nd birthday. Roger
died nineteen months ago and the family still do not know how or why he died.
The family will be handing in a letter to the Home Secretary voicing their
dissatisfaction with the investigation process into Rogerís death and
demanding a full open and independent inquiry be held into Roger's death.
Sheila Sylvester, Roger's mother speaking on behalf of the family said,
will be 19 months to the day our son was pronounced brain stem dead after his
encounter with 8 police officers from Tottenham police station.
are still no nearer the truth of what happened to Roger on the 11 January 1999.
We also have grave concerns both about the investigation into his death and the
time that it is taking the Crown Prosecution Service to reach a decision on
whether any officers should be prosecuted.
handed in a letter to the Home Secretary today voicing our concerns. You would
appreciate that there are details of the letter we cannot talk about publicly we
have been briefed that if the CPS decided to prosecute and there is a trial, it
could be argued that this trial will be unfair.
the letter we talked about the prolonged anguish we have been experiencing for
the last 19 months. Not knowing how or why Roger died. We havenít been able to
grieve properly and cannot get on with our lives. All our lives have been put on
talked about the frustration with a process, we feel is not designed to uncover
rogue police officers, a process in which the police investigated the police and
the fact that the force against which a complaint is made finances the
stated how unhappy we are about how some statements have been taken and believe
important evidence has gone missing. Given the absence of evidence we are
concerned about what conclusions will be drawn about the circumstances
surrounding our sonís death.
have learnt from the PCA recently there was a third investigation. Our family
are angry that this investigation was concealed and we did not find out about it
until the investigation was complete.
raised the issue of policing in Tottenham, the fact that there have been a total
of 3 deaths in custody, the death of a policeman and the constant harassment of
some of the resident in Tottenham. We reminded the Home Secretary that Roger too
complained that he was being harassed.
believe Roger was fit and healthy - physically and mentally. We voiced our
concerns that the decision to prosecute or not, is likely to be determined on
medical grounds. The CPS have commissioning a further medical report to help
them reach a decision.
we remember Roger on his birth date, we will also be reflecting on the last 19
months of turmoil, the devastation Rogerís untimely death has caused us. Part
of us died when Roger died.
finally called for a full open and independent inquiry into, not just Rogerís
death, but all deaths in custody, we also call for a Royal Commission into
police methods in the Tottenham area."