THE mother of a Glasgow boy who died after a gravestone fell onto him in a Glasgow cemetery has said she will "never feel peace" after an inquiry ruled her son's death could have been prevented.

Ciaran Williamson died after a headstone fell on him at Craigton Cemetery in Cardonald in May 2015. He suffered two skull fractures and injuries to his heart and liver.

Glasgow City Council was today found to be culpable of a serious of health and safety breaches.

The FAI determination found that the council did not have a memorial inspection system in place and failed to repair a hole in a boundary wall where Ciaran accessed the site with friends.

The sheriff ruled Ciaran’s death could have been avoided if the local authority acted on these issues.

The council said that it accepted the Sheriff's findings and would implement new national guidelines on dealing with older cemeteries when they are made available. The local authority added that it had already taken steps to address other recommendations by the Sheriff, ahead of the inquiry.

The four-week inquiry heard from an expert who said a "gust of wind" could have toppled the grave stone.

Ciaran's mother Stephanie Griffin said: "Every day we are crippled with the agony of losing Ciaran but this conclusion has not brought peace, answers or even a sense of justice.

"Our suffering has been made worse as we’ve been dragged through a process that could have been shortened had Glasgow City Council not refused to concede to obvious failings.

“Instead it threw thousands of public money at a QC and advocate who specialise in criminal cases – this defensive approach shows it set out from day one to divert blame and muddy the waters.

“This FAI found major gaps in Council processes which tell us it has been either defiant or negligent.

“And while we understand FAI’s don’t blame or punish and only give “recommendations”, there’s no rule to say the Council are legally bound to act on them – and who checks to see if they do?

“The Crown refused to prosecute the Council before the facts were fully investigated yet today, when the Court DOES find faults, the Council still escapes prosecution.

“How’s that fair or in the public interest? It’s like the reputation of a public body takes priority and it makes FAIs toothless to the point of meaningless."

“The laws around FAIs should be changed so those responsible are properly held accountable and families can access the justice they need and deserve.”

Ciaran’s dad Ryan Williamson made this comment, “The very strong recommendations made by the sheriff are the best outcome we could have hoped for and I would like to thank her for the work she has done."

Ciaran's grandmother Margaret Aitken described him as a "wonderful boy" who was missed, "every single day."

The hearing was told that Ciaran and his friends accessed the area through a large hole in the cemetery wall and that the council did not inspect the area where Ciaran died even though it knew of a previous child who was seriously injured there in very similar circumstances.

The court also heard the council commissioned a mason’s report which condemned the condition of the stone which killed Ciaran – only then for it not to form part of an HSE and Crown probe that followed.

Other evidence showed a lack of cemetery inspections and a request by the Head of Bereavement Services for resources to deal with a known problem of falling memorials.

Sheriff Ruxton called on the Scottish Government to now share memorial inspection guidelines with all local authorities.

She said: “The absence of an active system of inspection to ensure the safety and stability of memorials in Glasgow cemeteries and, in particular, in Craigton Cemetery was a defect in Glasgow City Council’s system of working which contributed to Ciaran’s death and the accident resulting in his death.”

While Sheriff Ruxton found the Ministry of Justice Guidance for England and Wales was followed by nearly all local authorities other than Glasgow, she added: “I recommend that the Scottish Government issue separate guidance on memorial safety in cemeteries for use by local authorities throughout Scotland.”

Mark Gibson, Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, said: “This was a long and complex inquiry with a number of skilled witnesses giving technical evidence and we welcome the determination.

“The determination highlights that the Council failed to adhere to longstanding industry standards for the inspection and maintenance of large memorials.

“It was clear from the evidence that this substantial memorial ought to have been a priority given that it was leaning precariously and given its position close to the site of a previous similar accident, a public thoroughfare, a local primary and the homes of many local children.

"Importantly, Sheriff Ruxton found the children were simply playing and there was no suggestion of a deliberate attempt by any of the boys to push over or destabilise the memorial in question."

Councillor Anna Richardson said: “I accept the Sheriff’s findings. We are sorry and our thoughts remain with Ciaran’s family and friends.

“It is clear that the Sheriff expects national guidelines and advice to be put in place for all cemeteries and, in particular, for dealing with larger and often older memorials. The council will adopt those guidelines once they are available.

“The council had already taken steps that address the Sheriff’s other recommendations prior to the inquiry and used the expert evidence heard in court to further strengthen its procedures.

“We welcome the Sheriff’s very clear statement that no cemetery is a safe place for play.”