21-year-old student jailed for drink-driving kills herself in cell after frequent naked searches by officers
Katie Allan's parents claimed that prison officers at Polmont made their daughter a target for the searches and this ended up causing her increased mental torment
It has been claimed that a student, who committed suicide in jail, lost about 80% of her hair while incarcerated due to stress because she was made to excessively strip completely naked by prison guards during random searches. Katie Allan's parents claimed that prison officers at Polmont made their daughter a target for the searches and this ended up causing her increased mental torment. The claim comes months after the news emerged that Katie was unnecessarily bullied by fellow inmates. This was said to be what caused her tragic death in June.
The 21-year-old University of Glasgow student had been put in jail for hitting a 15-year-old schoolboy in Giffnock that caused him to bleed from his head. He, however, eventually recovered from the wounds. As part of the claim, Katie's 51-year-old mother, Linda, and 54-year-old father, Stewart, said that the torment that was suffered by their daughter led to her suffering from stress-induced alopecia, which is a condition that was flagged to the doctor in the jail, reported the Scottish Sun.
It was also claimed that the staff at the prison did not notice any of the self-harm marks that Katie had all over her body even though they performed so many random strip searches. One of the searches is even alleged to have taken place during a jail training exercise. Linda describes her daughter as being extremely polite but who was threatened with being moved to the ruthless adult unit of the Falkirk jail.
Linda spoke to the Daily Record and recalled the final time that she saw her daughter alive in the prison. She said: "Katie had been bullied and berated and was in clear distress. She had lost her hair. She was eventually allowed to see a specialist but afterward was even more upset. She said she had been treated like a piece of meat."
She continued: "On my last visit to see her with her brother, we knew something was wrong. She looked exhausted and hadn’t slept because she was being terrorized and bullied. We flagged this up with two of the prison officers and we now know that, just before she died, they had told her she might be moved to the adult prison. Katie would have been terrified."
A spokesperson for the Scottish Prison Service said: "We can offer no further comment on the circumstances surrounding Ms. Allan’s death in advance of the fatal accident inquiry. The SPS will fully cooperate with the inquiry. We have absolute confidence in the governor of HMP & YOI Polmont."
Linda also said that her daughter had not been given any mental health checks in spite of the fact that she withdrew her appeal against her sentence. She was put in prison for 16 months in February this year after she hit a teen jogger last year which left him unconscious. Katie drove away from the scene as fast as she could but a passerby noted down her registration number and that's how she was caught. She was sentenced to jail even though there had been recommendations against it.
The Allan family have been supported by the University of Glasgow chaplain Rev. Stuart McQuarrie, as well as human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar. The public campaign for justice that is set to be launched by the family will take place at the university chapel at 10 a.m. on October 25.
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