Sean Taggart, a prisoner at HMP Grampian, died on the 10th of March 2018 due to complications arising from the use of drugs and alcohol. A sheriff in Peterhead has determined that his death was not the result of an accident or failure by the prison staff. 
The deceased was assessed and informed the nurse that he drank approximately 2 litres of alcoholic spirits a day and he was on a daily dose of 30ml of methadone. Mr Taggart took part in a drug reduction programme and was placed in a single occupancy cell. At 8:50pm he informed prison staff that he was feeling better. However, he was declared dead at 9:48am the next morning. It was suspected that he had a cardiac arrhythmia or a withdrawal seizure. 
In considering the conduct of the GP assessing the deceased, Sheriff McCrossan stated that the GP had acted wholly appropriately in prescribing methadone to him. In relation to monitoring the deceased to prevent Mr Taggart’s death it would have required continuous monitoring as his death was sudden. She stated: “The medical staff did not know, nor could they reasonably have known, that his condition was such that he was at a heightened risk. The medical staff had no reason to believe his condition was likely to deteriorate as it did and thus had no reason to request he be subject to any special treatment.”
Sheriff McCrossan concluded: “His situation was on all fours with many other prisoners within the establishment, who were also on the same or similar drug reduction programmes. It was not possible to subject all of these prisoners to monitoring throughout the duration of their drug reduction programme.”
As a result, there were no recommendations which could be submitted that could prevent other deaths of a similar nature.