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Parents had to wait 18 months before hearing took place

BEREAVED father Jim Bollan has welcomed the proposal to set up specialist fatal accident inquiry centres.

Mr Bollan's daughter Angela died at Cornton Vale Prison in Stirling while on remand for a shoplifting charge. She was 19 and had a toddler daughter, Stephanie.

Mr Bollan, 66, of Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, said: "Regional centres might be a step in the right direction. A less formal environment to a court room would be better, perhaps putting relatives more at ease." He also proposes a jury system.

The FAI into Angela's death and of two other prisoners Denise Devine, 26, and Yvonne Gilmour, 22, was held at Stirling Sheriff Court in November 1997.

Mr Bollan, a Scottish Socialist Party councillor in West Dunbartonshire, and his wife Anne, who died in a car accident in 2003, had to wait 18 months before the inquiry took place.

He said: "It was extremely long, but not an uncommon length of time to wait. It is important FAIs are heard quicker, not only to make the process easier for families, but also so evidence from witnesses is still fresh in their minds."

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