A rapist who tried to cheat justice by claiming he was too fat to appear in court died of obesity, an inquiry has ruled.
Stanley Sandison, from Lossiemouth, preyed on a string of young girls in the 1960s and 70s and was jailed for seven years in 2015.
A special sitting of the high court had to be convened in Elgin because the morbidly-obese 69-year-old – who tried to claim he was unfit to stand trial – was incapable of travelling further.
Sandison, who once topped the scales at 24 stone, was convicted of raping two children and sexually assaulting three others during a “remorseless” campaign of abuse.
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But just a year after his sentencing hearing – which was held in a court basement so he did not need to climb the stairs – the former distillery worker was found dead in his cell at Glenochil Prison in Clackmannanshire.
A fatal inquiry was held, and the court heard the cause of Sandison’s death was obesity and heart disease.
Sheriff David Mackie has now ruled that there were no reasonable precautions which could have been taken to avoid the death.
The inquiry heard that Sandison had lost more than seven stone after embarking on a diet in prison but could not be saved.
In his written determination, Sheriff Mackie said: “The late Mr Sandison was registered disabled as a result of obesity and required to use a wheelchair and zimmer frame to mobilise.
“During his period of incarceration he had lost almost 45kg of weight as a result of a healthier diet and exercise.
“At about 8.35am on December 17, 2016 a prison officer along with nurses attended at the late Mr Sandison’s cell but were unable to rouse him.”