Death investigations

Fatal Accident Inquiry Determination published following remand prisoner’s death

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) notes the conclusion of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Scott Andrew Ross in HMP Perth on 21 June 2018 while on remand.

The inquiry was a mandatory inquiry since the death of Mr Ross occurred while he was in legal custody.  


The purpose of an inquiry is to establish the circumstances of the death and to consider what steps, if any, may be taken to prevent other deaths in similar circumstances. 

 Unlike a criminal trial, a Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) seeks to establish the facts surrounding the death and is not a hearing which apportions blame.  

The Procurator Fiscal led evidence, including expert medical evidence, on the facts and circumstances of Mr Ross’ death. This included evidence of the approach taken between the hospital and the prison systems in the management of a prisoner’s drug withdrawal. 

Following the publication of the determination, Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on fatalities investigations for COPFS said:   

We note and welcome the Sheriff’s determination.    

“The Procurator Fiscal ensured that the full facts and circumstances of Mr Ross’ death were led in evidence at the mandatory Fatal Accident Inquiry.