Glasgow & West Scotland

Wife murder accused Neil Clark, 86, died of heart disease

Low Moss Prison Image copyright Scottish Prison Service
Image caption Mr Clark died after falling ill at Low Moss Prison in Bishopbriggs

A man who died while awaiting trial for the murder of his wife was suffering from heart disease, a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has heard.

Neil Clark, 86, was arrested after the body of his wife, Francine, 70, was discovered at their house in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, on 11 June 2014.

He was remanded in custody and died in hospital after falling ill at Low Moss jail, in Bishopbriggs, on 15 July.

The inquiry found his death from heart failure was sudden but not unexpected.

The FAI, before Sheriff Linda Ruxton at Glasgow Sheriff Court, was mandatory as Mr Clark died in prison.

Enlarged heart

The inquiry heard that a post-mortem examination showed he died of an enlarged heart caused by heart disease.

The hearing was told Mr Clark had appeared on petition at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on 12 June 2014 for allegedly murdering his wife Francine the previous day.

He made no plea or declaration and was taken into custody at Low Moss prison.

On 18 June he was found unresponsive in his cell and admitted to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

While being treated there, Mr Clark made it clear that if the situation arose, he did not wish to be resuscitated.

Dr Adam Bowman, the acting clinical director who was in charge of Mr Clark's care, said there was "very little engagement" with staff.

The doctor also confirmed that Mr Clark had a "significant past medical history".

Mr Clark, who had heart failure, was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure after being taken into hospital.

Medical problems

Dr Bowman said although the pensioner was not in the catchment area for the Royal Infirmary he had previously had "extensive contact" with the Western Infirmary with medical problems.

It was heard that latterly Mr Clark took more medication and pain relief, and that there were discussions about him returning to Low Moss prison.

After lunch on 15 July, he collapsed on the toilet while being assisted by two members of staff. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Dr Bowman told the court that Mr Clark's condition was "very unpredictable".

Mr Clark was arrested after the body of his wife was discovered at their house in Bearsden.

He did not appeared at any subsequent court hearings because of his health.

Sheriff Linda Ruxton made a formal finding. She said Mr Clark's death was "sudden but by no means unexpected".

The sheriff added: "There are no matters of public concern connected with Mr Clark's death."

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