Death investigations

Court process begins for 13-year-old girl who died following neglect

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Robyn Goldie. 

This Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) follows the prosecution and conviction of Robyn’s mother, Sharon Goldie, in August 2020 for wilful ill treatment and neglect of her daughter in the year leading up to her death in July 2018. Robyn’s mother failed to seek medical treatment for her when she became ill.

A preliminary hearing will be held on 3 July 2023 at Hamilton Sheriff Court.   

Preliminary Hearings and Dates of Inquiry (   

The purpose of an FAI includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.  

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.   

This Inquiry will explore the circumstances of Robyn’s death, with particular focus on the interactions with social work services. 

Procurator Fiscal Katrina Parkes, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said:  

“The Lord Advocate considers that the death of Robyn Goldie occurred in circumstances giving rise to significant public concern and as such a discretionary Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held.  

“An FAI will allow a full public airing of all the available evidence at which interested parties will be represented. The evidence will be tested in a public setting and be the subject of an independent judicial determination.” 

The Sheriff will issue a determination following the consideration of all the evidence. The determination will set out when and where the death occurred, when and where any accident resulting in the death occurred, the cause of death, the cause of any accident, any precautions which could have reasonably been taken, any defects in any system of work which contributed to the cause of death, and any other facts which are relevant. The Sheriff may make recommendations for future change.