A PRESTONPANS killer hanged himself in prison just months after his training for freedom programme was stopped.

Scott McMillan had served the 13 years punishment part of his life sentence and seemed on course for release.

But a fatal accident inquiry heard his home leave and work placements were scrapped after he tested positive for cannabis.

McMillan, 43, was found dead in his cell at HMP Shotts, Lanarkshire, in January last year.

Sheriff Douglas Brown was told the prisoner's death was unexpected as there were no signs that he was a suicide risk.

McMillan, previously High Street, Prestonpans, was jailed for life in 2004 after he was convicted of stabbing an acquaintance to death with a screwdriver in Prestonpans.

The two men met up on a Friday afternoon in Cookies Wynd, Prestonpans.

Charles 'Chuckles' Jack, 29, died in hospital a week after the attack in May 2004.

McMillan claimed he blacked out during an argument and did not know what had happened, but he was found guilty of murder.

The inquiry at Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that during the early years of his sentence at Shotts there were "infrequent" visits by family or friends.

But these stopped in 2008 and following his death no relatives or next of kin could be traced.

A former partner did not wish any involvement in the inquiry.

McMillan was transferred to HMP Greenock in December 2017 as part of a programme to prepare him for potential release.

He was allowed home leave and work placements in the community, subject to random drug testing on his return.

He tested positive for cannabis in August 2018.

Sheriff Brown noted: "His home leave and work placements were stopped and he was transferred back to Shotts.

"He refused to undergo any further drug testing.

"At the time of his death he was the sole occupant of his cell."

The inquiry heard McMillan was locked in his cell shortly before 5pm on January 27 last year after guards checked on him.

At about 7.30am the next morning, he was found dead.

CID officers carried out a "systematic" search of the cell.

They found nothing to suggest any cause of death other than suicide.

Sheriff Brown returned formal findings at the close of the inquiry, saying no other determination was appropriate.