Cameron House hotel fire deaths: Crown agrees to review decision not to hold FAI

A Crown Office decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of two men in the Cameron House hotel fire is to be reviewed.

Jane Midgely, whose 32-year-old son Simon was staying at the luxury hotel in December 2017 when fire engulfed the building, killing him and his partner Richard Dyson, 38, had said on Monday she would fight for an inquiry “in the public interest” after it was ruled out.

The Crown Office has since offered a review of its decision and it will be conducted by senior counsel who have not previously been involved in the case.

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Dumbarton Sheriff Court fined Cameron House Hotel £500,000 earlier this year and a porter was sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to breaches of health and safety after he disposed of embers in a cupboard, sparking the fatal blaze.

Fire damage at the Cameron House hotel on Loch Lomond.
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Cameron House hotel fire deaths: No fatal accident inquiry after blaze at Loch L...

Mrs Midgely met with Nicola Sturgeon in early March, after a meeting was arranged by Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie, whose Dumbarton constituency included the Cameron House hotel, and the First Minister was pressed on ensuring a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) be granted.

Mrs Midgely is understood to also have spoken with senior counsel from the Crown Office on March 30 to set out “the overwhelming public interest” in pursuing an inquiry, but on Monday it was revealed there would be no FAI.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) said it did not believe any public interest would be served and it had decided not to hold an FAI after “a thorough investigation and criminal prosecution leading to the conviction of two parties”.

However a spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has now confirmed that decision would be looked at again after a meeting with Mrs Midgely to explain the decision, when an “automatic review” was offered.

He said: “The family of Mr Midgely have asked for a review of the decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the deaths of Mr Midgely and Mr Dyson.

“The review will be conducted by Crown Counsel with no previous involvement in the matter. The families of Mr Midgely and Mr Dyson will be advised of the decision following the review.”

Jackie Baillie said it was critical to learn the lessons from the tragedy.

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