Date lodged: 5 July 2018
To ask the Scottish Government for what reason fatal accident inquires are yet to be held for people who died in custody four years ago.
Answered by: James Wolffe QC 30 July 2018
There are three deaths of individuals who died in prison custody during the financial year 2014-15 (1 April to 31 March), where fatal accident inquiries have yet to be held. Dates have been scheduled for two of these to take place in August and November 2018 respectively.
The progress of a death investigation depends on a variety of factors. While most death investigations conclude once a cause of death is known, other cases require further investigation, which may include complex technical and medical issues requiring the instruction of experts. Equally, where a FAI is to be held, the speed with which it proceeds to the conclusion of evidence, and, thereafter, to issue of the sheriff’s determination depends on a variety of factors, including the scale and complexity of the inquiry and the other demands on court and judicial time.