A serial rapist who claimed he was too fat to appear in court for his sentencing has died of a heart attack a year after his incarceration. Law enforcement recently ruled that “that there were no reasonable precautions which could have been taken to avoid the death,” according to the Press & Journal..
Stanley Sandison was convicted of raping a number of young girls in the 1960s and 70s in the U.K. and was sentenced to seven years in prison. As the Press and Journal reported, the 69-year-old Sandison had initially claimed that he was too obese to appear in court and a special setting of the high court had to be convened. The sentencing was ultimately held in a basement because Sandison could not climb stairs, and he was sent to Glenochil Prison.
Just a year after his sentencing, Sandison was found dead in his cell, and an inquest was held into his cause of death. Even though he had lost dozens of pounds while behind bars after going on a diet in prison, the investigation found that he died of obesity and heart disease.
“The late Mr. Sandison was registered disabled as a result of obesity and required to use a wheelchair and Zimmer frame to mobilize,” the inquiry into his death found (via the Daily Record). “During his period of incarceration he had lost almost [100 pounds] of weight as a result of a healthier diet and exercise.”
The report noted that Sandison was found dead in his cell more than a year after he was first sent to prison.
“At about 8.35am on 17 December 2016 a prison officer along with nurses attended at the late Mr. Sandison’s cell but were unable to rouse him. They thought he was dead. A doctor attended the deceased’s cell and pronounced life extinct.”
Sandison’s case had generated quite a bit of interest in the U.K. He was convicted of raping two young girls and sexually assaulting three others between 1964 and 1976. One of the victims told the court that Sandison had raped her between ten and twelve times, and then told the girl to stay quiet about the assault. Though he was not brought to justice until years later, officials were determined to have the elderly man serve time behind bars despite his medical impairments.
Stanley Sandison’s attempt to avoid his sentencing by claiming he was too obese made news and generated quite a bit of controversy, with many outraged that he was given only seven years in prison for the rapes. He would have been eligible for a release from prison in 2022 had he been able to serve his entire sentence.