Katie Allen: Brother says he has ‘lost faith in the justice system’
He told the Herald on Sunday: “I worry that I may be older than I am. It brings tears to my eyes to think that there was so much in his life that he didn’t live, so many dreams that never came true.
An ongoing FAI into the deaths of Katie and William LIndsay, 16, who took his own life in Polmont six months after Katie, heard how Katie’s mental health was damaged in the face of bullying and losing forever 80% of his hair through alopecia.
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“When this all started, I was very young and I had this subconscious belief that everything around me was working as it should,” Scott said. “But after Katie was sent to Polmont, I quickly lost faith in the system to the point where I now think it needs to be burned down and rebuilt.”
Katie, who is from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, was knocked unconscious by a 15-year-old boy while driving. He was jailed despite his victim’s family asking for a non-custodial sentence. Scott called for more scrutiny of sentencing decisions and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), and for offenders to be treated as people and supported to rebuild their lives.
His plea comes after it emerged that Sheriff Simon Collins KC, who led the FAI into the deaths of Katie and William, may delay his determination until after the FAI into the death of Jack McKenzie, 20, who took his own life in Polmont in September 2021.
Jack, of Shettleston, Glasgow, who lost both parents to drugs, has been in Polmont for eight months and is due to stand trial over allegations he was involved in a violent disorder.
READ MORE: Katie Allan ‘baptised’ other inmates days before her death – ask
Sheriff Collins will also lead the FAI in Jack’s death, which is expected to start later this year. The current FAI heard evidence of changes brought in by SPS following the deaths of Katie and William to prevent further suicides. Delaying the determination will allow the effectiveness or otherwise of the changes to be assessed.
The news that Sheriff Collins will head Jack’s FAI was welcomed by Katie’s mother Linda Allan, who criticized death in custody FAIs for considering each death in isolation, without looking at the bigger picture.
Aamer Anwar, who represents the families of Katie and William, also praised the move. “Year after year, in FAI after FAI, the Scottish Prison Service claims that real changes are taking place to protect life. We know from experience that this is not true,” he said.
“The families I represent think it is only right that, some years after the deaths of Katie and William, the empty words of ‘lessons to learn’ are not taken away, but answers are given as to what wrong.”