Published: 02/02/2018 07:00 - Updated: 02/02/2018 12:33

Mental health charity hails family of Ross-shire man

Written byNicole Webber

MORE than a £1000 has been raised for a mental health charity by the family and friends of an Alness man who died while in prison.

As well as raising funds for the charity Mikeysline at his funeral, Zach Banner’s family also agreed to donate their son’s organs to help save other people’s lives.

Ron Williamson, founder of Mikeysline met with the 22-year-old’s family. "I think it is incredibly brave of the family to make the organ donation to help others at such a time of tragedy," he said.

"As far as the money is concerned it is always bittersweet for us to receive money this way and as much as we appreciate it we wish it was not in such tragic circumstances, with such a cost to a family."

He was also touched to hear that the prisoners in Porterfield Prison have also been raising funds from their wages to donate to Mikeysline in memory of Mr Banner. Mr Williamson posted his thanks online and Mr Banner’s family paid tribute to his memory.

His brother, Toni Banner said: "We are so honoured to call Zach our brother. Extremely proud of him and the things he’s now gone on to achieve."

Mr Banner died while being held in custody at Porterfield Prison in Inverness. He had been remanded in custody after appearing at the city’s sheriff court on December 29.

Mr Banner, who had made no plea, was in court following a disturbance at a property in the Firhill area of Alness on December 28.

He was accused of theft by housebreaking, assaulting police, threatening behaviour, assault, theft of cars, careless driving, attempting to pervert the course of justice and breaching bail.

It is understood he was taken from prison to Raigmore Hospital on Hogmanay but later died.

The Scottish Prison Service said his death would be reported to the procurator fiscal. A fatal accident inquiry is expected to take place.

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