Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lord Advocate faces Court of Session petition over delayed Fatal Accident Inquiry

As bad as Scots Law may seem to some, it can only get worse, as a grieving mother has to resort to legal action against the Lord Advocate over delays in starting a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of her partner - two years ago.

Many solicitors will be aware of the difficulties faced by families trying to get an FAI into unexplained deaths, where procedures at the Crown Office can seem somewhat lacking to the point of negligence, wilful or otherwise ... and this author certainly remembers a few cases where families have applied for legal aid to obtain legal representation to pursue such matters, only to have the Crown interfere with their legal aid application ....

The Herald reports :

Mother in legal action over inquiry delay


A grieving mother is taking legal action against the Lord Advocate over delays in mounting an inquiry into her partner's death two years ago.

Karen Thomson, 46, has been fighting for more than two years to learn the facts surrounding the death of her partner of eight years, Graham Meldrum. The couple had a daughter Heather, now eight.

The agency driver, 40, was unloading empty breadbaskets when he became trapped by a truck tailgate at Allied Bakeries in Possilpark, Glasgow.

Her lawyer, Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors, is supporting Ms Thomson in taking the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, to court for so far failing to hold the inquiry.

A petition lodged at the Court of Session yesterday claims the Lord Advocate is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act and seeks a judicial review.

Logistics company TNT faces health and safety charges in relation to the accident in July, 2005.

Ms Thomson, a mother-of-four, said: "I just want to have basic facts so we can learn from it and move on.

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