‘Blasé’ at­ti­tude about drug risk

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

COURT RE­PORTER A vi­o­lent Air­drie thug branded one of Scot­land’s “most dan­ger­ous men” was blasé about tak­ing an over­dose weeks be­fore he was found dead in his cell, a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry heard.

Gary Black’s body was dis­cov­ered in his cell bed at HMP Low Moss, near Glas­gow, on the morn­ing of Jan­uary 15 last year.

Staff bat­tled to save the 29-yearold but he was later pro­nounced dead and a post-mortem re­vealed he died from “mor­phine and de­lo­razepam in­tox­i­ca­tion”.

The in­quiry heard that weeks ear­lier, on De­cem­ber 21, Black was found in his cell and rushed to hos­pi­tal, then later dis­charged.

He de­nied tak­ing any il­le­gal drugs that could have led to his col­lapse when speak­ing to a doc­tor the fol­low­ing day and seemed dis­in­ter­ested in a con­ver­sa­tion about the dan­gers of drugs.

The fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry into Black’s death took place at Glas­gow Sher­iff Court on Mon­day, when Dr

“Mr Black has greater con­cerns about the mess that was left in his cell by staff that were try­ing to save his life a few days ear­lier.

“He felt there was no is­sue; he said he was not sui­ci­dal, there was noth­ing un­to­ward, it was just one of those things.”

The in­quiry heard a form called ACT, now named Talk to Me, for pris­on­ers who are re­port­edly feel­ing sui­ci­dal, should have been filled in af­ter Black re­turned to prison from hos­pi­tal in De­cem­ber 2016 and that it is now pro­to­col for staff to im­ple­ment that.

Mr Eas­ton con­firmed that, as part of that pro­ce­dure, a pris­oner would be put on 15 minute ob­ser­va­tions which Black had any­way, be­cause he re­turned to prison out of hours and was un­able to be seen by a doc­tor un­til the next day.

Mr Eas­ton was asked about the in­ci­dent weeks later and re­called ar­riv­ing at work around 8.10am on Jan­uary 15 when he re­ceived a call and went straight to Black’s cell.

He said by the time they got there, staff had done all they could to save

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