HeadLine: FURY OVER DYING SON THROWN IN THE CELLS
Daily Record, 10/04/1998, p32
by Shaun Milne
A shattered mum and dad last night demanded a probe into their son’s
Gordon Niven, 16, suffered a fractured skull – but he was thrown in a
police cell because hospital staff thought he was high on drugs.
He was injured when he fell off his bike and banged his head on waste
He was taken by ambulance to Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary but they
failed to diagnose that his skull was fractured.
Hours after they called police to lock the boy up – for being
aggressive – he was brain dead and his life- support machine turned
Now parents Pat and Gordon Niven, of Shawlands, Glasgow, have called
for a fatal accident inquiry.
Heartbroken Gordon is determined that no other family should have to go
through their agony.
He said: “The hospital didn’t seem to think his head injury was serious
enough to take him in and look after him.
“I want a public inquiry into this disastrous thing that has happened
and hopefully it won’t happen again to some innocent child taken into
hospital for care.”
On the way to the hospital, Gordon was bleeding badly and slipping in
and out of consciousness.
Pat told how her son held her hand tightly during the five-minute
journey last September.
She said: “Gordon was aware I was there. I was talking to him to try to
But in the hospital treatment room, Gordon lashed out and struck a
Staff said that they thought he had been drinking or taking drugs,
despite a denial from his friend. He wasn’t X-rayed. Police were called
and Gordon was charged and taken to Aiken- head Road police station.
There, a police surgeon noticed bruising between his eyes and sent him
back to hospital with a suspected fractured skull.
He was transferred to the Southern General where he was put on a life-
support machine and a day later he was brain dead.
The hospital admitted they had not appreciated the seriousness of his
A spokesman said: “Patients are our first priority, but we must call
the police if a patient becomes abusive.”
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