No prosecution in Kirkcaldy baby ashes scandal

The baby remembrance garden at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.
The baby remembrance garden at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.

No criminal proceedings are to be taken in the Kirkcaldy baby ashes scandal.

Procurator fiscals have concluded that there should be no further action in the case involving infant cremation at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.

The question of possible prosecution arose during an investigation which began in 2013 into the retrieval of baby and infant ashes following cremation at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh, carried out by Dame Eilish Angiolini, the former Lord Advocate of Scotland.

The City of Edinburgh Council announced an independent review, which was conducted by Dame Angiolini, after it emerged that bereaved parents had been denied access to their baby’s ashes, which were buried in a garden of remembrance at the crematorium in Edinburgh. The practice was believed to have been carried out from the 1960s until 2011.

The investigation uncovered cases in Fife and Glasgow.

This week a Crown Office spokesman said: “Following the publication of the report of the National Cremation Investigation, chaired by Dame Eilish Angiolini, two specific cases of infant cremation at Kirkcaldy and Daldowie Crematoriums were referred to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration as to whether there should be criminal proceedings arising from the cremations themselves, or representations in respect of them made to the National Cremation Investigation.

“Investigations were carried out in both cases.

“The Procurator Fiscal can take proceedings where there is credible, reliable and admissible evidence that a crime has been committed and it is assessed that it is in the public interest to do so. In both instances it has been concluded that there should be no proceedings. The families have been informed of these decisions.”

Steve Grimmond, chief executive of Fife Council which is responsible for crematoria, said: “We acted swiftly upon and adopted the recommendations highlighted in Dame Elish Angiolini’s report in relation to the operation of our crematoria.

“All of our practices and procedures meet the new national standards set out in the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016.”