Death investigations

Court process begins for the joint FAI into the deaths of two toddlers

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a joint Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths of Cailyn Newlands and Sonny Campbell.

23-month-old Cailyn, and 22-month-old Sonny, both died on 6 December 2016 at the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.

Sonny and Cailyn were not treated by the same doctors and did not encounter each other in the Royal Hospital for Children.

A preliminary hearing is set for 8 March 2024 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.      

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (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 Sonny and Cailyn’s deaths, with particular focus on guidance, training, the medical assessments of the children and whether the children should have been assessed by a Senior Doctor or Consultant.

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said:      

“The Lord Advocate considers that the tragic deaths of of Cailyn Newlands and Sonny Campbell occurred in circumstances giving rise to significant public concern and as such a joint discretionary Fatal Accident Inquiry should be held.  

“The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff.      

“The families will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as appropriate, with regard to the welfare and wishes of those involved, as court proceedings progress.”