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FAI into the Death of Daryl Malcolm Shearer, Sheriff Principal Young, Dingwall Sheriff Court, 14th July 2011


In terms of s.6(1)(a) of the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976 the sheriff found that Daryl Malcolm Shearer (DOB 07.05.89) died while in custody at Dingwall Police Station, Strathpeffer Road, Dingwall, Ross-shire at about 8.15am on 27th October 2008. In terms of s.6(1)(b) the cause of death was the cumulative effects of head and neck trauma and intoxication with dihydrocodeine and diazepam. A formal determination was made under s.6(1)(c).
Under s.6(1)(c) there were two reasonable precautions whereby Mr Shearer's death might have been avoided. He could have refrained from becoming involved in fights with other young men and he could have refrained from abusing controlled drugs.
Although no other determinations were made, the sheriff noted a number of points arising from the case that the police may wish to consider. Firstly, procedures for following medical instructions for custodial prisoners should be improved. Secondly, changes could be made to allow custodial officers to replay recordings of prisoners' activities while in their cells. Finally, procedures for ensuring prisoners actually take prescribed medication could be improved.