THE family of Sheku Bayoh, the Fife engineer who died in police custody three years ago, are to sue Scotland’s chief constable for £2 million.

Reports suggest relatives of Bayoh will lodge a civil action against Police Scotland’s acting chief constable Iain Livingstone at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Thursday.

The family say the nine officers who came into contact with Bayoh on May 3 2015 are responsible for his death.

The 31-year-old had 20 facial cuts and bruises, petechial haemorrhages in his eyes (a symptom of asphyxiation), a fractured rib and grazing on his chest.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) have passed a report to the Crown Office on the death of Bayoh – known to friends as “Sheik” – but have yet to decide if action should be taken.

A source close to Bayoh’s family told reporters: “A case for damages will be lodged ahead of the third anniversary of Sheku’s death.

“The family have had not a penny for legal costs or anything else and feel the case is just dragging on and on. They miss Sheku every day and remain utterly distraught at his death and the manner in which he died. No sum of money will bring him back. Three years on, there’s still no conclusion to an investigation.”

Bayoh’s partner Collette Bell, said blame lay firmly with the nine officers who detained him.

Bell said: “On May 3, 2015, Sheik came in to contact with Police Scotland. He had not been charged with anything and should have been safe. Instead he was pronounced dead shortly after 9am.

“The only people who are responsible for him never coming home are the police.

“Three years later, I’m still awaiting answers for our son. Isaac has said his first words, taken his first steps, celebrated birthdays and started nursery – and all without his father at his side.

“All I’ve ever wanted is to know the truth surrounding Sheik’s death so I can one day explain to my son why he is growing up without his daddy. He has already asked why he doesn’t see his daddy, which is heartbreaking.”

She said she had tried to keep an open mind regarding the investigations, and accused the police and their representatives of trying to smear her partner. She said: “There were attempts to silence the campaign while police officers got their stories straight. Pirc have shown they have no power over police officers. The investigation has focused on everything except what Police Scotland did that day.”

“The Crown keep saying it’s a complex investigation but I’m sick of excuses. If it was nine ordinary people who’d done this, I doubt the Lord Advocate would have taken three years to make up his mind.

“The police wrecked my life but Sheik has not been forgotten. I will not rest until I have answers for myself, my son and the people of Scotland.”

A spokesman for the Pirc said: “The Commissioner appreciates this has been a difficult period for the family of Mr Bayoh. At all stages throughout this independent investigation the Pirc has acted under the direction of the Lord Advocate, who has ultimate responsibility for investigating unexplained deaths.

“The Commissioner submitted a detailed and extensive report to the Lord Advocate in August 2015.

“A further report containing evidence gathered from a number of expert witnesses was submitted in 2016 and the Pirc has undertaken any additional enquiry requested by the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The family and their legal representative have been kept informed of any significant developments, and senior Crown Counsel along with Crown Office officials met recently with the family and will continue to do so where appropriate.

“It is not appropriate at this stage to commit to any timescales given the nature of the investigation, however it’s anticipated a full report will be submitted for the consideration of Crown Counsel, the most senior lawyers in the Crown Office, in due course.”

Police Scotland assistant chief constable Wayne Mawson said: “Our thoughts remain with Sheku Bayoh’s family and friends following his death three years ago and we continue to offer support to anyone affected by this tragic incident. We have been committed to cooperating with the Pirc and the Crown Office throughout the investigative process and we cannot comment further.”

An officer involved in the arrest, Nicole Short, is taking the Scottish Police Authority to court claiming she suffered “significant injuries” in the incident, and should be allowed to retire on medical grounds.