Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Man's family demands death probe

Sean Rigg
Mr Rigg lived in supervised care for the mentally ill

The family of a mentally ill man who died while in police custody said his death is not being fully investigated.

Sean Rigg, 40, died on 21 August in south London's Brixton police station.

Mr Rigg's sister, Samantha Rigg-David, said she feared the more time passes, the less likely it is the family will get clear answers.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was awaiting a Home Office pathologist's report into the cause of death.

A preliminary post-mortem examination failed to show any obvious sign of injuries which could have caused the death of Mr Rigg, who lived on Fairmount Road.

'Robust investigation'

Ms Rigg-David said the family believes that her brother's death may have been restraint-related.

"We expect a robust investigation and that just is not happening," Ms Rigg- David said. "We don't want things to get lost, we don't want people to forget things over time."

She added that the IPCC has declined to give the family a timeline for their investigation, leading to fears that the more time passes, the less likely they are to get clear answers to what happened to her brother.

In a statement, IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said the commission does not yet have the answers that the Rigg family is seeking.

"Most significantly, we do not yet know why Mr Rigg died. We are awaiting a report from the Home Office pathologist to establish the cause of death and will share the findings with the family when we have them."

Supervised hostel

Mr Rigg had been arrested in Balham on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and alleged public order offences and died within hours of being taken into custody.

Police say he had fallen ill and been seen by a doctor shortly before he died.

Mr Rigg's family said he was a talented musician who suffered from schizophrenia and lived in a special supervised hostel.

Supt Dave Musker, of the Metropolitan Police, extended his sympathies to the man's family and said the IPCC's investigation continues.

"I would like to stress that this investigation remains ongoing, and speculation into the circumstances prior to the IPCC announcing their findings is unfair and unhelpful to everyone connected with this tragic case."

An inquest will be held at a later date.

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