Glasgow & West Scotland

Dale Mulholland death in Greenock Prison 'may have been avoided'

A man who took his own life while on remand in Greenock Prison may still be alive if he had been seen by a doctor, a fatal accident inquiry has found.

Dale Mulholland, 22, was remanded in custody on 15 March 2011 after being charged with assault to severe injury.

He was found dead in his cell four days later after being segregated amid problems with a convicted prisoner.

The FAI heard that Mr Mulholland should have been assessed by a doctor after being segregated.

The inquiry was heard by Sheriff Thomas Ward at Greenock Sheriff Court between October 2012 and January this year.

'Known enemies'

It heard how the prison authorities were not aware that Mr Mulholland had attempted to take his own life in November 2009 and had self-harmed since the age of 15.

The FAI also heard how, while on remand, Mr Mulholland was to be kept separate from convicted Brian Morrison, as both men were "known enemies".

After an apparent threat to Morrison, Mr Mulholland was placed on placed on Rule 94 on the 17 March.

This meant that he was removed from association with other prisoners for his and their protection.

The FAI heard that Rule 94 states: "Where any prisoner has been removed from association under this rule, a medical officer shall visit that prisoner as soon as practicable and thereafter as often as is necessary, but at least once in every seven days."

Sheriff Ward heard that Mr Mulholland was not assessed by a doctor after being placed on Rule 94, and was found dead in his cell two days later.

In his written findings, Sheriff Ward said: "The very fact that Mr Mulholland was on the rule might have an adverse effect on his mental state, which presumably is why there is, or was at the time, a requirement for a visit by the doctor.

"In my opinion it is a 'real or lively possibility' that an assessment by the doctor on the Friday morning may have alerted concerns from the deceased, or even the doctor, and as a result the doctor might well have taken appropriate steps to counteract those concerns."

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