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Friday, October 29, 2021

Qatar court upholds death penalty sentence for teacher’s killer


Lauren and Alison Patterson. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

A man accused of murdering a British teacher in Qatar has lost his appeal and once again faces the death penalty for his crime.

Yesterday, Badr Hashim Al-Jabr was convicted for a second time of stabbing 24-year-old Lauren Patterson to death.

Shortly after the murder, campers found Patterson’s smoldering remains in the desert, along with a knife.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdullah Al-Jabr. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

Al-Jabr had first been found guilty of the murder in 2014 by a lower criminal court. The verdict was upheld on appeal, but then thrown out last year by the country’s highest court.

The ensuing retrial moved at a snail’s pace, but ended with judges drawing the same conclusions as the legal minds before them.

Al-Jabr did not appear for yesterday’s verdict, but according to AFP, the Court of Cassation said that “the defendant was fully aware of the consequences of his actions.”

‘Justice has prevailed for Lauren’

The newswire added that Patterson’s mother Alison wept when she heard the ruling.

“Thankfully justice has prevailed for Lauren Patterson… (I’m) feeling very emotional but relieved,” she said in a statement to Doha News.

Court of Appeals and Cassation. Credit: Chantelle D’mello/Doha News

Alison Patterson had been regularly flying into Doha for the hearings, and was recently asked by a judge whether she wanted to forgive or seek retribution against Al-Jabr.

She told him she “did not want to forgive,” though she previously said she is against the capital punishment and would support a life term in prison.

Judges still hand out death penalty sentences in Qatar, but rights groups say no executions have actually been carried out in over a decade.

The case

Lauren Patterson was last seen alive leaving a La Cigale nightclub in October 2013 with Al-Jabr and his friend, Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz.

Prosecutors said Al-Jabr took her to a home he used for sexual trysts with women, “conquered her body,” and killed her by stabbing her twice.

Flowers laid where Lauren Patterson’s remains were found. Credit: Via Alison Patterson

The defense had maintained that Patterson’s death had been an accident, and said confessions obtained from both men were coerced.

Abdul Aziz was convicted in 2014 of helping dispose of Patterson’s body. He has since served his three-year sentence and been released.

Al-Jabr still has one more chance to appeal, but Patterson’s mother said that “due to the thoroughness of the judicial system here, the likelihood of another appeal is highly unlikely.

She added that she is praying the ordeal is over.


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