5 September 1996

Deborah Coles, Co-director of INQUEST the London based organisation that assists the families of those who die in custody said: "What effect will the governor's retirement have on his accountability for the management of Cornton Vale and the disturbing number of suicides on remand? His departure heightens the need for an independent and open inquiry into the individual deaths and the issues they raise."

"Cornton Vale is the suicide capital of the Scottish prison system. Its grim toll of despair, the deaths of five women on remand in 15 months is an indictment of the prison regime and conditions and begs questions about the excessive and inappropriate use of custody for women who should not be there. How many more women will die before a full and open inquiry is conducted."