Death investigations

FAI court process begins for the death of machine operator

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

Mr Sinclair, 61, a machine operator for DK Logs, died on 6 September 2022 at Brae of Murthly, Pitilie Farm, Aberfeldy after his right arm became trapped within the moving parts of a wood processing machine. 

A preliminary hearing is set for 6 June 2024 at Dundee 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. 

It is anticipated that the Inquiry will consider any precautions which could reasonably have been taken and which might realistically have resulted in the death having been avoided and any defects in any system of working which contributed to the death or any accident resulting in the death.   

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

“The death of Andrew Sinclair occurred while in the course of his employment 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.      

“Mr Sinclair’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”   

For more information on Fatal Accident Inquiries, see the Crown’s guide.