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Independent investigation after fifth man dies in police custody in Kirkcaldy

Scott Hooper, 35, died on January 22.

Kirkcaldy police station.
Kirkcaldy police station. Image: DC Thomson

An independent investigation has been launched after a man died in police custody in Kirkcaldy – the fifth since 2015.

Scott Hooper, 35, died suddenly at Kirkcaldy police station on January 22.

His death is the fifth whilst in custody in Kirkcaldy since 2015.

The Fife station is already linked to an independent public inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh.

Police Scotland confirmed Mr Hooper became unwell whilst in custody at Kirkcaldy station.

Independent investigation launched into the death whilst in police custody

Paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: A 35-year-old man became unwell while in custody at Kirkcaldy Police Station on Monday, 22 January, 2024.

Sheku Bayoh.
Sheku Bayoh. Image supplied.

“Emergency services attended however he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The death is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing.

“A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

“As is standard procedure the matter has been referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.”

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service: “The Procurator Fiscal has received a report in connection with the death of a 35-year-old man while in custody at Kirkcaldy Police Station on January 22.

“The investigation into the death is ongoing and the family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

Tributes to ‘much loved son’ and ‘loving dad’

In a funeral notice,┬áMr Hooper, was described as a “much loved son” and a “loving dad”.

It added: “Scott will be sadly missed by all of his friends and family.”

His death is the fifth whilst in custody in Kirkcaldy.

Sheku Bayoh, 31, died in May 2015 after being restrained by six officers.

It followed an emergency response after reports of a man seen acting erratically with a knife in the town.

Joseph Sneddon died at the Victoria Hospital whilst in police custody in April 2022 after being admitted for mental health issues.

Stephen Campbell, 49, died on February 23, 2022, after a medical episode in a cell at the station.

In addition, Marc Hamilton died in his cell in September 2020 after being arrested for an alleged stabbing.

The Courier has contacted the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner (PIRC) for comment.