Chiefs refuse to ban use of ‘unapproved’ force despite violent death of Allan Marshall

Allan Marshall
Allan Marshall

source: The SundayPost
published: 24 January 2021

The family of Allan Marshall, who died after struggling with up to 13 prison staff, criticised the decision yesterday and said it defied a key recommendation made by a sheriff after investigating his death.

Sheriff David Liddle had urged the Scottish Prison Service to implement 13 recommendations to improve control and restraint procedures after what he described as Mr Marshall’s “entirely preventable” death.

After a fatal accident inquiry into the death of Mr Marshall, who was an untried prisoner at Saughton prison when he died in 2015, he urged the SPS to ban the use of feet to subdue inmates after expert witnesses said it was dangerous and unjustified. One officer had admitted stamping on Mr Marshall and using his feet at least 10 times.

However, while the SPS has adopted eight of the recommendations, it says officers may still use their feet to control prisoners, adding: “There may be exceptional circumstances where staff will require to respond in ways that do not use currently approved techniques.”

Mr Marshall’s aunt Sharon MacFadyen, 47, from Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, said the decision made a mockery of the sheriff’s findings, adding: “The SPS has dismissed the recommendation over the use of feet to control and restrain prisoners even though it was central to the whole inquiry into Allan’s death. Those prison officers jumped on Allan. They stamped on Allan.

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