Nurse in Saudi case spared jail sentence

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The Independent Online
LUCILLE McLAUCHLAN, the British nurse who spent 17 months in prison in Saudi Arabia for her alleged part in a murder, avoided a jail sentence yesterday for stealing from a dying hospital patient. Instead she was given the maximum community service sentence.

McLauchlan, who is five months pregnant, was ordered to do 240 hours of community service, as an alternative to prison, for stealing money from 79-year-old Helen Lewis at King's Cross Hospital, Dundee, in 1996. She was also found guilty of forging references to get work and of using a stolen bank card.

Sheriff Alastair Stewart at Dundee Sheriff Court said a prison sentence was not appropriate for McLauchlan, 33, who was released from jail by King Fahd last May. She had been convicted of being an accessory to the murder of Yvonne Gilford, an Australian colleague at the Saudi hospital where they both worked.

Sheriff Stewart said yesterday: "The charges of which you were found guilty were very serious ones; it was a gross breach of trust in your profession as a nurse. These offences are such that I had to consider sending you to prison. But sending you to prison would not achieve anything for you and it would not do society any good, either." He ordered her to pay pounds 300 compensation to Mrs Lewis's estate.

McLauchlan has asked for her name to be removed from the nursing register.