A prisoner jailed for murdering a young Dundee father with a samurai sword binged on drugs while on home leave the night before his death, an inquiry heard.
Alexander Touati, 48, was found unresponsive in his cell at HMP Castle, outside Dundee, on June 29, 2018. He was serving a life sentence for the killing of James Connelly.
Touati, of Marywell Gardens, Kirriemuir, and co-accused Russell Gilfillan, of Fife, were found guilty of the murder, which happened on Year’s Day in 2002.
A fatal accident inquiry heard Touati had admitted to taking a white powdered drug the day before his death, while he was on home leave in Dundee.
A toxicology analysis showed the presence of synthetic cannabis, as well as his prescribed anti-depressant and methadone.
However, the inquiry found the drugs had not contributed to his death, which was caused by a heart attack that could not have been prevented by prison staff.
Procurator fiscal depute Mohammed Sadiq told Dundee Sheriff Court: “As part of the home leave arrangements the deceased was dropped off at Seagate Bus Station on Wednesday, June 2017.
“On Friday, June 29 the deceased was returned to HMP Castle Huntly.
“About 3pm an inmate entered the deceased’s cell. The deceased produced small bags of white powder and green herbal matter.
“The deceased stated that he had taken some of the white powder on the Thursday night and had hardly slept, and his eyes were blood shot.
“About 6.45pm a prison officer noticed the deceased’s trousers were unbuckled and sitting around his hips.
“The officer found the deceased’s demeanour suspicious and informed him that he was going to be subject of a full search.”
Four wraps of Class B new psychoactive substances including synthetic cannabis were found concealed on Touati’s person and he was placed on hourly checks.
At around 7.30pm prisoner officers found Touati lying on his bed, unresponsive and cold to the touch.
Paramedics were called and CPR was performed, before conveying Touati to Ninewells Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9.01pm.
Sheriff Thomas Hughes said: “I found that no other precaution could reasonably have been taken to avoid the death in this particular case.”
Touati’s murder trial heard he had been released from prison after serving a nine-year sentence for raping a student and was staying in Whitfield when an argument broke out at his home.
Mr Connelly, who had been at the property, was stabbed with a miniature samurai sword in front of a 12-year-old girl who was out walking her dog.