Lauren Patterson murder: Appeal over 10-year term fails

Image source, James Grima
Image caption,
Lauren Patterson disappeared after a night out in Doha in October 2013

An attempt to force a court to impose a harsher punishment on a man handed a 10-year jail term for murdering a young teacher in Qatar has failed.

The badly-burned body of Lauren Patterson, 24, from Kent, was found in the desert in October 2013.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al-Jabr was convicted and sentenced to death - later reduced to a 10-year jail term.

After an appeal against the sentence failed, Miss Patterson's mother said Al-Jabr could be released in months.

Alison Patterson said: "There is the possibility that he could stay in another four years, but there is also the possibility he could get off for good behaviour.

"Also in Qatar, twice a year they pardon prisoners. So for example he could be pardoned this December on their national day. So he could be out within a couple of months."

Mrs Patterson said the family wanted the sentence to revert back to the death penalty.

She said: "The death sentence is something they haven't enacted out there I think in 13 years, but I was far happier with that outcome, because then I knew he would remain in prison for life."

Mrs Patterson said when she heard the court's decision she felt shocked and disgusted, and she added: "I feel sick, angry, but worst of all, I feel I've let my daughter down."

Her daughter, from West Malling, had been working at the Newton British School in the capital Doha and disappeared after a night out.

Miss Patterson's body was found in a remote part of the desert by a falconer. Al-Jabr was later found guilty of stabbing her.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "Our staff have been supporting the family of Lauren Patterson throughout the legal process and will continue to support them following their tragic loss."

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