Good afternoon everyone, as most of you all know I am Rogers mother.  Here I am again in this same place to tell you once again of my experiences from January 11th 1999.  I feel so weak and worn out that I can honestly say I am only existing through the support of my family and good friends.

If Roger was ill or had an accident I could come to terms with him not being here as death is inevitable, but not when I spoke with him that very morning when he called to remind me of his brothers birthday unaware that he would leave the world that very night.  Never to have another birthday of his own, never to speak to me again, never to see another day alive.  I cannot accept that his life was taken from him.  Someone killed my son.

The tragic death of Rog and the circumstances surrounding it has had a devastating, profound and lasting effect on the whole family.  We are going through a painful process, which we now know is designed in such a way to wear us out. I open my eyes in the morning and my thoughts are in the cemetery.  Where what remains of my son is left for me to mourn, but not fully as every thing surrounding his death has made it difficult for me to do this.

Since the death of my son I can tell you all I am a shadow of my former self.  On that fateful night of January 11th I remember my sister in law coming to get me from my house.  I wasnít very well at the time and didnít want to leave but she was adamant that I go to the hospital with her.  On the journey I was still unaware of the seriousness of the situation and could never have prepared myself for everything that was to follow and how my life would change forever.


I canít help thinking that the police were well aware of the consequences of their actions, as no sooner had I been informed of the situation they had already cordoned off his house with blue and white tape with two officers guarding his premises.  Naively I thought that if he was in hospital then he would need pyjamas only for them to tell me, his own mother, that they would need permission from control to allow me to go to the hospital.

When I finally saw my son I called out to him, I kissed and cuddled him but he couldnít respond. But looking back Roger was already dead.  

My son was only 30 years old. Roger died a horrific and painful death on one of the coldest nights in January, he was naked throughout his ordeal and not one of eight officers saw fit to cover him up.

Nobody deserves to die that way; He did not deserve to die that way.  How can they rest?

He was even naked on the day we buried him.  We were unable to dress or view his body due to the length of time between investigation and burial, he was that badly decomposed. This meant that he was buried in two body bags.  Is that right?

Rogersí death has had a detrimental effect on myself and the entire family, we were never offered any counselling and now I am unable to move on not knowing how and why my son died.

This has lead to my health deteriorating, I cannot sleep well at night and I am now on anti depressants.

Just this week in the month of November nearly 21 months later, Stephen James the commander of Tottenham has now seen fit to offer me his support.  Why now? 

When the people who know exactly what happened that night are still part of his own fold.  We believe we have given Commander James enough reasons for the suspension of his officers until the investigation is over.

The same Steven James that once told me in this very centre that the officers have lives too. How insensitive! How can they sleep at night?!

They have committed an uncondonable crime; they have killed my son! May their consciences be troubled and remain haunted by the thought of what they have done to Roger. 

Although we have buried our son WE will never forget him, but neither will we forget this nightmare we are living and the life sentence that has been passed on us by this establishment.  I have to cope with my loss but I also have to struggle to find out the truth of how Roger died. 

The question I ask is: Why is it that the people we pay to look after us always get away, time and time again, with KILLING us.  WHOíS NEXT?? 

I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your continuous support, as we continue our fight for justice.

 

Sheila Sylvester