A university student who took her own life after being sent to prison for drink-driving had been “petrified” of fellow inmates who showered her with verbal abuse.
Linda and Stuart Allan, the parents of Katie Allan, arrive at Falkirk Sheriff Court ahead of the sec (Image: PA)
Katie Allan, 21, killed herself after being sent to Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution, near Falkirk.
Her incarceration came after defence lawyers said her chances of serving time as a first-time offender were “next to nothing”.
But the Glasgow University third-year geography student was jailed for 16 months after admitting dangerous drink driving in 2018.
Having downed cider at a birthday party she lost control of her car and hit a boy of 15 out jogging. He suffered a broken ankle and fractured eye socket. Katie said she was “devastated”.
Yesterday her mum Linda, 56, told Falkirk Sheriff Court how she visited Katie the day before her suicide. The student was “exhausted”, claiming she had been kept awake at night.
Mrs Allan was giving evidence to a fatal accident inquiry examining the deaths of Katie and fellow inmate William Lindsay, 16, at Polmont in 2018. Katie was found dead in her cell on June 4 while William killed himself on October 7, three days after being admitted because of lack of space in a child secure unit.
The youth had a history of threatening suicide and was locked up after being found with a knife. He was discovered hanged in his cell.
The hearing heard traces of antidepressant were found at Katie’s post-mortem. She lost over a stone in her four months inside. Handwritten notes were left in her cell.
Mrs Allan claimed there had been a fight in the area where her daughter was being held and that other prisoners had been hurling abuse at Katie in the aftermath.
She said: “She was petrified and exhausted as she hadn’t slept. She told me she had asked to be moved to another cell.
“She didn’t feel safe. She was terrified of the unpredictability of the environment she was in.”
The mother added that her daughter had also appeared “frightened” ofcertain prison officers.
Katie could have been released on home detention curfew just four weeks after her death.
The inquiry is examining both deaths in a bid to prevent jail suicides.