Labour demand public inquiry into Allan Marshall prison struggle death

A FULL public inquiry should be held into the death of a prisoner following a struggle with staff at HMP Edinburgh, Scottish Labour has said.

Allan Marshall died from a cardiac arrest after being dragged feet-first across the floor and restrained by multiple prison officers in March 2015. 

The 30-year-old was a remand prisoner and was days away from release.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry previously ruled his death was “entirely preventable” and accused prison officers of failing to tell the whole truth about what happened. 

Sheriff Gordon Liddle said: “Sometimes they appeared to be mutually and consistently dishonest.” 

Mr Allan’s family have questioned why guards were given immunity from prosecution.

They met with Scottish Labour’s justice spokeswoman, Pauline McNeill, who is now publicly backing their demands for a full public inquiry.

She said: “Mr Marshall’s family and the Scottish public deserve answers over the death in custody of Allan Marshall.

“The Fatal Accident Inquiry into his death raised many troubling issues and left serious questions unanswered. 

“Alan’s family has been campaigning for those answers and they must get them.

“That Mr Marshall’s family have been denied clear answers over how and why he died is simply shocking and is an indictment on the relevant authorities.

“Only a public inquiry can answer the questions on Alan Marshall’s death, re-establish transparency in our criminal justice system and provide justice for his family.”  

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of Allan Marshall and the former Justice Secretary expressed his condolences to them personally when he met them.

“The safe treatment and mental health of all those in custody is a key priority for Scotland’s prisons, which care for people with higher levels of risk and vulnerability than the general population as a whole.

“We are determined any lessons that need to be learned will be learned, and that all appropriate agencies must look closely at the outcome of Fatal Accident Inquiries.

“Whether a recommendation is made at the end of an FAI is a matter for the Sheriff who has heard the evidence presented.

“We have commissioned Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, along with a representative or families of prisoners and a human rights expert, to undertake an independent review of deaths in custody.

“We will consider any recommendations from the independent review carefully, when it reports later this year.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992