A notorious serial rapist from Dalkeith with 76 convictions died from an apparent accidental overdose in jail, an inquest has ruled.
Kevin Fyffe - known as “The Thing” - had committed a string of offences, including brutal sex attacks, assault, attempted murder and running down a police officer.
He was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after collapsing in his cell at Saughton Prison in September 2012, but was pronounced dead soon afterwards, aged 47. The sheriff’s official ruling on his death has only just been published.
Sheriff Donald Corke made a formal finding after conducting an inquiry into his death.
He said Fyffe had been prescribed the analgesic drug nefopam for chronic pain in his back and legs and was allowed to keep the tablets in his cell.
The sheriff noted nefopam was a relatively safe painkiller and there were very few cases where it had been linked to deaths.
His report concluded: “Though possibly implicated in the death of the deceased, there is no evidence that this was a deliberate overdose and no reasonable precautions could have been taken to prevent the death.”
Fyffe was originally jailed for five years for a savage rape in 1988, In 2002, just four days after his release from another sentence, he launched a brutal sex attack on a female shopper in Edinburgh. The following day, he flashed at a 24-year-old woman on a bus.
Jailing him for eight years, High Court judge Lord Phillip told Fyffe he was a “serious danger to women and will continue to be so”.
He should have been behind bars until 2010, but was electronically tagged and freed on licence in 2007. In 2009, his licence was revoked and he was returned to jail after being arrested for breach of the peace following alleged “inappropriate behaviour” - harrassing and frightening a number of women. He had been nicknamed ‘The Thing’ because of his resemblance to the rocky star of the Fantastic Four comics and movies.
Soon after his return to jail, Fyffe ended up in hospital after being punched by fellow prisoner, ‘Da Vinci rapist’ Robert Greens, serving 10 years for raping a Dutch student near Rosslyn Chapel. The row was allegedly over Fyffe’s pungent tobacco smoke drifting into Greens’ cell next door.
It was also reported that Fyffe acted as “chauffeur and butler” to Peter Tobin, jailed for murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton and teenager Dinah McNicol. He was said to push Tobin around in his wheelchair and take meals to his cell.
In 2011, Fyffe was transferred from Saughton to Noranside open prison, near Forfar, but was returned just three weeks later after complaints from women guards.