Death investigations

FAI court process begins for man who died in custody

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 53-year-old Peter Carter.

Peter Carter died on 11 June 2019 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital after being transferred from HMP Glenochil and undergoing surgery. 

The inquiry is a mandatory inquiry under Section 2(4)(a) of the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Act 2016.  

Preliminary Hearings and Dates of Inquiry (     

A preliminary hearing will be held on 14 July 2023 at Alloa 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.    

It is anticipated the focus will be on the medical care and treatment Mr Carter received within HMP Glenochil and Forth Valley Royal Hospital. 

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

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

“The Lord Advocate considers that the death of Peter Carter occurred while in legal custody and as such a Fatal Accident Inquiry is mandatory.  

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

“The family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”