Drink-drive student, 21, committed suicide after series of ‘failings’

Drink-drive student, 21, who killed herself in jail ‘after being forced to parade naked in front of guards’ was ‘given a BANANA instead of bandana to cover up stress-related hair loss’

  • Katie Allan, 21, took her own life in prison after losing her hair through ‘stress’ 
  • Her parents are asking how she could be brought a banana instead of bandanna 
  • Bullying inmates took her belongings and ridiculed her for five months 
  • The hit and run drink driver was self-harming and ‘prison staff did not intervene’
  • The family of her victim, who survived, asked a judge not to jail the student

A jailed university student was being ‘terrorised’ by inmates who bullied her for her stress-related hair loss before she was brought a banana rather than a bandanna to cover up.

The 21-year-old was also ‘forced to parade naked’ in front of prison staff before she took her own life in her jail cell, according to her devastated parents.

Katie Allan was serving time in Polmont Prison in Falkirk where she was relentlessly tormented and was just three weeks from being released on tag.   

Her parents are now compiling a dossier of failures they claim occurred before their daughter’s death.  

Katie Allan, 21, took her own life in prison after being ‘forced to parade naked’ in front of guards and relentless bullying from inmates 

Her parents say she was failed by police, her lawyer, the courts, sheriff David Pender, the Crown and Polmont governor Brenda Stewart.

They have now turned their ­attention to Forth Valley NHS, who were responsible for Katie’s wellbeing.

The Allans are furious that a GP did not raise ­concerns after ­seeing Katie in the prison. 

They say Katie was tormented by other women, made to give away her belongings and bullied. 

Katie’s mother Linda is calling for change in the prison system after he daughter was bullied

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Her devastated parents say more should have been done to help when it became obvious Katie was ­suffering from ­alopecia and being tormented as a result. 

In a letter to Forth Valley NHS’s director of nursing Angela Wallace, Linda wrote: ‘Katie’s legal representative emailed the governor of Polmont on the 26th of April, at our request, to seek medical ­intervention for Katie’s rapid hair loss.

‘Katie had tried and failed on several occasions to access ­nursing or medical treatment and was being tormented and bullied because of her hair loss by other girls in her hall.

‘The Scottish Prison Service highlighted this to the NHS staff as a direct result of our intervention.

‘When Katie began to lose her hair I asked if Katie be allowed a head scarf or bandanna to cover the apparent areas of ­baldness.

Miss Allan hit a boy while driving but insisted she did not know she had driven into anyone  

‘This was refused by the reception staff at HMP & YOI ­Polmont.

‘SPS staff contacted the health centre before the 27th of April seeking advice on how to get Katie a head covering.

‘Katie reported that a prison officer called the health centre and spoke with a member of the nursing team asking if Katie be allowed a head scarf or ­bandana.

‘The nurse stated that they indeed had such items and would bring some to Katie’s hall. A nurse went to Katie’s hall with two bananas.

‘As amusing as this story was at the time, it is a tragic ­representation of the blatant incompetence of the nursing staff.’

Dad Stuart said: ‘It sums up the sheer incompetence that we have encountered every step of the way.’   

Mum Linda, 51, and Stewart, 54, are campaigning for change in the justice system – although state they accept she needed to be punished – but were horrified by what happened to her. 

Linda said: ‘Katie had been bullied and berated and was in clear distress. She had lost her hair.

‘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 terrorised 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.’ 

Mrs Allan previously told the Daily Record in Scotland her daughter told her she was strip searched after almost every visit her parents made to the prison. 

Her mother said she believed Katie’s compliant nature was making her daughter an easy target for the wardens to ‘reach their strip-search quotas’.

On one occasion she said six guards searched her during a training exercise and talked about her as if she were not in the room.

Katie Allan took her own life five months into her prison sentence after a hit and run while she was drink driving 

A friend told The Sun: ‘She was definitely getting bullied. That and the prison environment directly contributed to her ending her life. She should never have been in there.

‘One woman was making her give her tobacco, handing over her stamps, posting her letters for her. She had her scared s**tless.’

Katie became so distressed she began losing her hair.      

Katie took her own life five months into her 16 month sentence.

During her post mortem self-harm marks were found on her body. Her parents have questioned why Katie was not prevented from self-harming since she was seen naked regularly during strip searches.

Her parents were also furious she was jailed for so long after citing other cases where people were not jailed, for similar crimes.

In Miss Allan’s case, Sheriff David Pender told the court it was ‘impossible’ not to jail her.

The inmate was sentenced to two years behind bars for a hit and run during which she left a teenager bleeding in the road.

Michael Keenan, 15, was injured but survived the incident in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, on 10 August last year after suffering a broken ankle and a fractured eye socket.

Katie, 20 at the time of the accident, always insisted she did not realise she had hit anyone after her tyre blew and she hit an island after drinking four pints.

Miss Allan who was studying Geography at Glasgow University was sentenced to sixteen months behind bars despite the boy and his family pleading with the judge not to jail her.  

Miss Allan was studying at Glasgow University and was described as a ‘lovely lassie’ who ended up being a ‘sheep in a lion’s den’

Miss Allan, 21, had drunk four pints when she got behind the wheel of her car in August 2016

Drink drive student Katie Allan(pictured with family) took her own life in prison after severe bullying 

Margaret Keenan, the mother of road accident victim Michael, said: ‘Katie was given a sentence we didn’t want and we were all devastated when we read that she had died.

‘Katie had written to us again from prison to apologise for a second time and reiterated that she didn’t know she had hit Michael.

‘The whole thing has been a tragedy for her family.’

If you are affected by any issues raised in this story, contact The Samaritans for confidential support on 116 123.

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