By Lucy Ashton
The mother of one of the men who tragically died in the Cameron House hotel fire has spoken out about her distress following the decision not to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of her son.
Jackie Baillie, the Labour candidate for Dumbarton has spoken to Jane Midgely, who lost her son Simon in the December 2017 inferno.
Ms Baillie has vowed to support Jane Midgely and her family to challenge the decision by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service not to hold the FAI.
Cameron House Hotel was fined £500,000 at Dumbarton Sheriff Court earlier this year and a porter was sentenced to community service after both pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety regulations that led to the fire claiming the lives of Simon Midgely and Richard Dyson.
At a meeting arranged by Ms Baillie on March 8, Jane Midgely asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to act to ensure that a Fatal Accident Inquiry was granted,
She also asked to be given the opportunity to meet with the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, left, and senior people from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.
To date, these meetings have not taken place.
Jane Midgely spoke with Senior Counsel from the Crown Office and Fiscal service on 30 March to set out the overwhelming public interest in pursuing a fatal accident inquiry.
She was advised that the Lord Advocate would be consulted before a final decision was made.
A meeting on 6 April was arranged and then cancelled by the Crown Office, and a further meeting on 12 April was arranged but again was cancelled by COPFS.
The COPFS told the families of Simon Midgely and Richard Dyson why they did not believe any public interest would be served with a Fatal Accident Inquiry.
Speaking after the decision was announced Jackie Baillie said: “I have spoken with Jane this evening and she is very upset and angry with the decision made today by the Crown Office.
“The families have had to endure delays in the case reaching the courts and minimal information being provided to them.
“More than three years on, Jane cannot understand why a Fatal Accident Inquiry has been rejected.
Simon Midgely and Richard Dyson – “why does Crown not believe any public interest would be served by a Fatal Accident Inquiry.”
“Whilst guilt may have been established by the courts, there are clearly lessons to be learned about fire safety that may well require a change in law.
“Several warnings were issued to the hotel that appear to have been ignored and staff training was completely inadequate.
“It is critical that we prevent this from happening again and a Fatal Accident Inquiry is an important part of that process.
“I have pledged my support to the family and will work with them to appeal this decision.”