Fatal accident inquiry finds death of eight-year-old avoidable

Police Car with lights on

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) found that eight-year-old Ciaran Williamson would not have died if Glasgow City Council had followed health and safety guidelines.

Ciaran died when a gravestone fell on him as he played with friends at Craigton Cemetery, Cardonald in May 2015.

Digby Brown Solicitors represented members of Ciaran’s family throughout the FAI and carried out a comprehensive investigation into the tragedy.

Sheriff Ruxton, who conducted the hearing, found the local authority did not have a memorial inspection system in place and that it failed to repair a hole in a boundary wall where Ciaran accessed the site with friends.

Mark Gibson, Partner at Digby Brown, supported the family throughout the FAI.

He said: “This was a long and complex inquiry with a number of skilled witnesses giving technical evidence and we welcome the determination.

“However, the emotional upheaval the family have endured cannot be underestimated – they have shown great strength of character and solidarity throughout.

“The determination highlights that the Council failed to adhere to longstanding industry standards for the inspection and maintenance of large memorials.

“It was clear from the evidence that this substantial memorial ought to have been a priority given that it was leaning precariously and given its position close to the site of a previous similar accident, a public thoroughfare, a local primary and the homes of many local children.

"Importantly, Sheriff Ruxton found the children were simply playing and there was no suggestion of a deliberate attempt by any of the boys to push over or destabilise the memorial in question.”

Read more: Evening Times and The Scottish Sun