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Should Angus killer Tasmin Glass be housed in a low supervision unit in Dundee?

Glass, who was convicted of culpable homicide in 2019, will go before the parole board on Wednesday.

Tasmin Glass, who was jailed for her part in the murder of oil worker Steven Donaldson.
Tasmin Glass.

Is a low supervision unit the right place for one of Scotland’s most notorious killers, Tasmin Glass, to be housed?

The Scottish Prison Service won’t confirm where the killer is being held, but multiple sources have told The Courier that she is currently imprisoned at the Bella Community Custody Centre in Dundee.

The facility was a UK-first – and generated significant community concern – when it opened its doors in 2022 with a mission to help ready female prisoners for a life back in the community.

Tasmin Glass – who orchestrated events which led to the murder of Angus oil worker Steven Donaldson – is one of Scotland’s most high profile female prisoners.

Steven Donaldson.

She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for her part in the killing of Mr Donaldson but, with just half her sentence served, is due to face a parole hearing this week which could lead to her liberation.

What is the Bella Centre in Dundee?

The Courier is campaigning alongside Mr Donaldson’s family for Miss Glass to remain behind bars.

The Scottish Prison Service describes the Bella Centre – and a sister facility in Glasgow – as “groundbreaking” in its approach to women offenders.

The centre consists of three “shared houses” with capacity for 16 individuals.

Describing the role of the centre on their website, SPS wrote: “(It) will support the needs of women who would benefit from closer community contact and access to local services.

The Bella Community Custody Unit in Dundee. Image Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

“Women will be supported to live independently in accommodation based on a ‘shared house’ principle to develop a range of independent living skills, which are reflective of real life.”

Preparing for return to the community

A SPS spokesperson added: “Our groundbreaking Bella and Lilias Community Custody Units (CCUs), in Dundee and Glasgow respectively, are the first facilities of their kind in the UK.

“They provide an increased focus on preparing people for returning to their community, increasing their chances of successful reintegration, and reducing the risk of reoffending.

“Individuals are only considered for a transfer to the CCUs if they meet strict eligibility criteria and following careful risk assessments.”

Communal space for inmates in the Bella Centre. Image: Kim Cessford / DCT Media.

The Courier has twice approached the Scottish Prison Service in relation to Ms Glass and the Dundee unit.

The service said it did not comment on individual prisoners, but refused to deny Ms Glass was among those housed there.

‘Treats victims with disrespect’

On Wednesday May 29, the killer will go before The Parole Board for Scotland in a bid for freedom.

This will be the second time the panel consider Glass for parole after they failed to come to a decision in February.

Bill and Pam Donaldson, Steven’s parents. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

The Courier and Steven’s family have campaigned to keep the killer behind bars, believing that she should not be released five years into a ten years sentence.

Under Scots Law, prisoners who have been sentenced to more than four years will be considered for parole automatically once they have served half their sentence – unless they have been given a life restriction order.

A campaign for victims

In our A Voice for Victims campaign, The Courier is asking the Scottish Government to rethink this law and how it affects the families who are retraumatised by proceedings.

Conservative justice spokesman Russell Findlay called the current system “weak” saying it “makes excuses for criminals and treats victims with disrespect”.

Russell Findlay MSP.
Russell Findlay MSP. Image: Colin D Fisher

The politician, who was the victim of an acid attack in 2015, told The Courier: “Anyone who has lost a loved one to violent crime should have confidence that those responsible will be punished.

“Unfortunately, yet another family is learning that is not what always happens while also having to battle with the authorities for basic information which they should be automatically entitled to.”