By Sarah Townsend
Qatari national Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al Jabar was convicted of killing Lauren Patterson and burning her body in the desert
Court of Appeal judges in Qatar have upheld the ruling handed to the man convicted of murdering British schoolteacher Lauren Patterson in 2013.
Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah Al Jabar was sentenced to death for the murder in a lower court ruling last year, while his accomplice Mohamed Abdallah Hassan Abdul Aziz was given a three-year prison term for helping to burn Patterson’s body in the desert and destroy evidence.
Al Jabar appealed the ruling but the latest decision in Doha on Monday means the death penalty ruling continues to stand – although Al Jabar’s case will likely see one more appeal, this time in front of Qatar’s highest court, reported Doha News.
“There was a consensus that the sentence would be upheld,” a judge reportedly told a busy courtroom yesterday.
The 24-year-old woman was reported missing after leaving Doha’s La Cigale nightclub in October 2013 with the two men later convicted of her death.
In last month’s appeal hearing the defense lawyer attempted to change the accusation to assault that resulted in death, instead of intentional killing. He accused prison guards of torturing his clients and holding them in solitary confinement between interviews with prosecutors.
Throughout the appeal, the defense lawyer attempted to discredit Patterson’s character, calling her “promiscuous,” an “excessive drinker” and “irrational”.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor argued for the appeal court to hand Abdul Aziz a harsher sentence.
Patterson’s mother Alison reportedly told Doha News on Monday: “I’m relieved that the first defendant’s sentence has been upheld, but disappointed that the second defendant’s sentence has remained the same.”
She added that she dreaded the thought of Abdul Aziz being released next year after completing his sentence, “considering what he has done and (his apparent) lack of remorse”.
Although the death penalty is still handed out by local Qatar courts, it has not been carried out in more than a decade.