Here is a timeline of the incident, legal case and campaign.
2 March 2015 | Allan enters prison
Allan is remanded to HMP Edinburgh awaiting trial for breach of the peace.
21 March 2015 | Allan becomes unwell
Allan starts showing signs of mental health issues. He tells his cell mate he can see shooting stars and keeps reciting the Lord’s Prayer. The cell mate complains to staff as he is unable to sleep, and asks to be moved to a different cell. He tells staff Allan needs a doctor, but nobody arranges this.
23 March 2015 | Allan is still unwell
With his cell mate moved to a different cell, Allan presses the call button repeatedly through the night. There is only one prison officer on duty. Nobody arranges for any medical help or mental health assessment for Allan.
24 March 2015 | Allan is assaulted
Allan is still behaving bizarrely. After allegedly ‘trashing’ his cell, instead of being assessed by a mental health professional he is moved to the segregation unit. On the way, officers noted that he caught sight of his own reflection and did not seem to recognise himself, and went totally rigid. Allan is then subjected to a violent restraint by a total of 17 prison officers during which he has a towel wrapped around his face, is dragged around on the floor and stamped on. Other prisoners hear him screaming and saying that he can’t breathe. He goes into cardiac arrest. Watch the CCTV footage of the incident.
28 March 2015 | Allan dies
After spending four days in an induced coma in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Allan’s life support is switched off and he dies.
9 August 2019 | Allan’s death ‘entirely preventable’
Sherriff Liddle publishes his damning findings from the FAI. He finds that Allan’s death was ‘entirely preventable’ and that ‘numerous’ opportunities were missed. He also finds the evidence of the prison officers to be inconsistent. He makes 13 recommendations for the Scottish Prison Service to prevent a death like Allan’s happening again. Read the FAI determination (Scotcourts.gov.uk)
26 October 2019 | Campaign joins with other families
The Justice for Allan campaign holds a vigil at the Crown Office in Edinburgh to remember and demand justice for all people who have died in custody in Scotland. It was held to coincide with events by the United Families and Friends Campaign held in London and Lyon, France at the same time, and is the first time such an event has been held in Scotland. Read more.
27 October 2019 | Prisoner speaks out
A prisoner who witnessed the assault on Allan speaks out about the nightmares he still suffers. Read the news report (Daily Record)
15 January 2021 | SPS respond to the recommendations
The SPS writes to the family. It says it has accepted and implemented 10 of the 13 recommendations. One of the recommendations that has been rejected is to ban officers from using their feet to restrain prisoners.