Death sentence upheld for Qatari who killed British teacher and left her burnt body in pit

William Watkinson
Lauren Patterson

A murderer who killed a young British teacher and left her charred body in a desert pit with a knife still stuck in her chest will face the death penalty, a Qatari court has ruled.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabr was convicted of stabbing, killing and burning Lauren Patterson's remains in the desert in October 2013.

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The primary school teacher's badly burned body was found in the desert days after she left La Cigale nightclub with two local men on 12 October 2013. A court found she had been sexually assaulted and stabbed.

The 24-year-old, from West Malling, had been working at the Newton British School in the capital Doha for several years before her disappearance.

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In a long-running court saga al-Jabr was handed the death sentence in 2014, and his accomplice, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz, was found guilty of helping to burn her body and hiding evidence. Aziz was sentenced to three years.

In March 2015 the Qatari Court of Appeal upheld both sentences before the case went through the last Qatar's highest court – the Court of Cassation.

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In February 2016, the Court of Cassation quashed Jabr's conviction and death sentence and ordered a retrial. Aziz's three-year sentence, however, was upheld.

Now, after the conclusion of the retrial on Sunday (30 April), Jabr's conviction and his death sentence have been upheld, according to her mother, Alison Patterson, who travelled to the emirate.

Lauren Patterson

In a post on the Justice for Lauren Facebook page this morning, Alison said: "Back from Court and thankfully justice has prevailed for Lauren Patterson. The judges have upheld the original death sentence.

"Thank you to everyone for all your amazing support without all of you I don't know how I would have got this far. Love to everyone."

Alison had travelled to Qatar on several occasions to fight for justice for her daughter and under the Qatari Penal Code she had the right to ask for what judgement she wanted, to which she replied: "I did not want to forgive".

Al-Jabr now has 60 days in which to launch an appeal at the Court of Cassation.

Prosecutors said that Jabr had planned to take Patterson home for sex before he stabbed her twice. The pair put the body in their car and buried her remains in the desert.

The defence for Jabr claimed the death had been an accident and said his, and Aziz's, confessions were made under duress. Aziz was reportedly freed earlier this year.

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