A STUDENT drink-driver found dead in jail had abandoned her appeal against sentence just six days earlier.
Katie Allan, 21, who had been studying geography at Glasgow University before she was jailed, died in Polmont Prison, near Falkirk, on Monday.
She had been jailed after knocking down a 15-year-old boy in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, in August last year.
In March, Sheriff David Pender jailed her for 16 months for the offence, but she appealed in a bid to have her prison term cut.
Law firm Beltrami & Co were instructed to carry out the appeal on Allan’s behalf and it was due to call at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Tuesday May 29.
However, the appeal was “withdrawn at the bar”, meaning her lawyers informed the court they no longer wished to proceed with the appeal on the day of the hearing.
No official reason was given for why the appeal was abandoned.
Most appeals in Scotland are heard by judges in the Appeal Court based in Edinburgh.
The court can impose a lower sentence, but can also impose a higher term or confirm the original punishment.
A source close to Allan, who hoped to become a chef, said: “Katie was a tortured soul behind bars.
“She struggled in there and did not take the news about the appeal well at all.
“She recently celebrated her 21st birthday while behind bars and it just wasn’t the type of place for someone like her.
“Katie was trying to be as upbeat as possible and was trying to be really positive about the appeal and was left absolutely devastated when she realised it wasn’t going to happen.”
Allan was 20 when she tried to drive home from the pub after drinking four pints of cider.
She hit the central reservation, causing her to lose control of her Ford Fiesta and crashed into the young runner with such force that her car’s bumper was ripped off.
She then sped off, leaving her victim lying unconscious on the pavement with blood pouring from his head. The schoolboy, who was preparing to sit his Highers at the time, also suffered a broken ankle and fractured eye socket and had to take two weeks off school and spent months hobbling about on crutches.
In February, Allan pleaded guilty at Paisley Sheriff Court to causing serious injury to the teenager by driving dangerously, and at more than four times above the drink-drive limit.
Witnesses gave Allan’s car registration to police officers, leading them to quickly track her down to her home.
When officers arrived she appeared drunk, “upset and distressed”, put her hands out in front of her so she could be handcuffed and “repeatedly asked the officers if the person she struck was OK”.
Defence solicitor Amy Spencer said she was “truly sorry” and had apologised to her victim.
She asked for leniency for her client, saying she could carry out unpaid work and pay compensation to the victim as punishment.
The lawyer said: “It was one night and one stupid, impulsive decision which will stay with her for the rest of her life.”
But on jailing her Sheriff David Pender said it was impossible to deal with the case in a “non-custodial” way.
He said: “It should have been obvious to you that you were not in a condition to drive.”
Beltrami & Co declined to comment.
The Scottish Prison Service said a fatal accident inquiry into Allan’s death will be held but it could not comment on individual cases.
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