Family of woman who died in YOI granted partial legal aid for inquiry

Katie Allan, 21, died at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in June 2018 while serving a sentence for a driving offence.

Sarah Ward
Friday 15 September 2023 13:44 BST
Katie Allan died at YOI Polmont in 2018 (family handout/PA)
Katie Allan died at YOI Polmont in 2018 (family handout/PA) (PA Media)

The family of a woman who took her own life in a young offenders institution are receiving partial legal aid for representation at an inquiry into her death, a court has heard.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths of Katie Allan, 21, and William Lindsay, 16, who took their own lives at Polmont Young Offenders Institution four months apart, is scheduled to begin in January and last six weeks.

Ms Allan died in June 2018 while serving a sentence for a driving offence, and her parents have campaigned for five years for an FAI to be held.

Mr Lindsay died in October 2018, two days after being remanded at the facility.

In July, Linda and Stuart Allan, from East Renfrewshire, told how they feared they would be denied representation at the FAI as they were over the threshold to qualify for legal aid.

But lawyers for the family confirmed on Friday they have received partial legal aid in their son’s name, though they will still need to make a contribution.

A preliminary hearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court, before Sheriff Simon Collins, was also told the family want Crown immunity to be lifted from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) for the inquiry.

Mental health nurses will be called to give evidence and a manager from the SPS will be asked to identify changes in policy, the court was told.

Lead counsel for the Allan family, Frances McMenamin, said: “Legal aid was approved on July 19.

“Matters are progressing as much and as quickly as they possibly can.

“A number of meetings will be scheduled within the coming weeks.

“There is regular contact with the Crown.”

Further hearings in the case will be held at Falkirk Sheriff Court on October 31 and December 18.

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