string(7) "glasgow"

Glasgow University student ‘petrified’ the day before her death, mother tells FAI

A fatal incident inquiry is taking place after the death of former student Katie Allan back in 2018


The mother of a former University of Glasgow student, who took her own life in prison, has told an inquiry how she was “petrified” of other inmates the day before her body was discovered in her cell.

21-year-old Katie Allan took her own life while in prison while on a 16 month sentence for drink driving, and for causing serious harm by dangerous driving, GlasgowLive reports.

Katie suffered from alopecia and had struggled with self-harm in the past. Her death in 2018 was accompanied by the death of 16-year-old William Lindsey, who had attempted suicide multiple times in that past. Both William and Katie had been on suicide watch, and William was removed from this just three hours before he took his own life. Both individuals had also been assessed by the Talk To Me scheme, which is now under investigation.

There has since been an inquiry made about the deaths of both Katie and William. Katie’s mother, Linda Allan, told the inquiry she and her son, Scott, visited her daughter at Polmont on June 3rd, during which Katie broke down in tears as she recounted her days in prison. She explained that there had been a fight in the area of the prison that her daughter was held in and that other inmates had been shouting abusive comments at her daughter since then.

Mrs Allan informed the inquiry that the Glasgow student “was petrified and exhausted as she hadn’t slept.” This was said to be due to noise at night from the other inmates. She told her mother she “didn’t feel safe, and was terrified of the unpredictability of the environment.” It was also noted that while she spoke highly of some prison officers, it was clear she was frightened of some of those who were supervising her.

In April 2018, Katie’s solicitor had urged the Scottish Prison Service to get her medical treatment for her alopecia and eczema. Her mother said: “Katie had lost 60 to 80 percent of her hair, she was covered in self-harming marks, she was covered in eczema, she had weight loss, and she was acutely distressed.” During her time in Polmont, she lost seven kilos (15lb) over a period of four months. The inquiry has heard this week that she was found to have traces of an antidepressant which was not prescribed to her, during the post-mortem investigation.