Sylvester's SPEECH (NAAR
22nd Feb 2003
morning! As many of you know, I lost my son Roger 4 years ago at the hands of
family has therefore joined the ranks of the many who have also lost their loved
ones at the hands of the state. We all seem to be condemned to a life sentence
you can imagine, my family have been deeply wounded by Rogerís death, but the
legal process for dealing with my Sonís death has only rubbed salt into our
we remain hurt, and for us the healing process has not yet begun.
is true that we have met with various Home Office ministers to discuss our case.
is also true that the Lord Chancellor and the Crown Prosecution Service have
seen the moving film called Injustice, and on seeing the film, the Lord
Chancellor arranged to meet families such as ours to discuss Deaths in Custody.
progress has been made and at least now families like ours are beginning to get
Lord Chancellor has now authorised some limited funding for the inquest into
Rogerís death, BUT THIS WAS ONLY AFTER A FIGHT!
for me, this is where the commitment to changing the system stops. No one is prepared to tackle the issues related to deaths in custody
have a situation where the Lord Chancellor appeared to be moved by the film, but
is not prepared to hold a public inquiry into all deaths in custody.
the tea and apparent sympathy from Home Office Ministers, Ö. where are we 4
years on ? Still waiting for an inquest.
The delay of the inquest has been unprecedented. It is the longest delay for a
death in custody, surpassed only by custody deaths in Northern Ireland.
believe that someone, or a group of people somewhere in the system are hoping
that interest in Rogerís death will dwindle and the interest in deaths in
custody will fade away.
I HAVE NEWS FOR THEM! We will never give up the struggle and my love for my son
will never fade, and MY quest for
justice will continue until my last breath!
hopefully, we will have an inquest in September, nearly five years after
Rogerís death. We have been offered a confined venue for the inquest, and
guess where?ÖÖat the back of Hampstead police station!
reminds me of the confined space my son was held in at the back of the police
any suggestions for a suitable venue from the 8th of September will
be gratefully welcomed.
the number of people dying in custody has decreased slightly, this is not the
case for Black deaths in custody. Evidently, race must play an important part in
Black custody deaths, an issue that is definitely not being addressed.
government seems to be concerned about Human Rights violation in other
are keen to rescue the innocent from the evil of states abroad. But,
hypocritically, they are not prepared to tackle the issue of those who die at
the hands of the state in this Country.
donít know about a moral case for war, but there is one thing I do know beyond
any reasonable doubt, there is a moral case for a public inquiry into deaths in
Tony, I have a moral puzzle for you. The police brought your son home safe on
that night. What happened to mine?