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Sunday, January 11, 1998 Published at 13:32 GMT



Despatches
image: [ BBC Correspondent: Jim Muir ]Jim Muir
Cairo

Deborah Parry, one of the British nurses on trial in Saudi Arabia for the murder of an Australian colleague, has been moved to a Saudi hospital after suffering from mental problems. She and another British nurse, Lucille McLaughlin, were arrested after the killing of Yvonne Gilford at a hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia just over a year ago. A number of British press reports say Miss Parry has tried several times to commit suicide. Our Middle East correspondent, Jim Muir, reports;

British diplomats say Deborah Parry continues to find it difficult to cope with life in prison and that doctors decided to move her to hospital for observation as a precautionary measure. Officials declined to comment on press reports that Miss Parry, who's 39, had tried to commit suicide in prison in eastern Saudi Arabia where she's been held for the past 13 months.

Relatives said her spirits had been sinking lower and lower as time went on and the doctors had decided to keep a constant watch on her. Because of a car accident members of Miss Parry's family were not able to visit her over Christmas.

No date has yet been set for another hearing in her case. She's accused as the principal suspect in the killing of Yvonne Gilford who was stabbed, bludgeoned and suffocated to death in December 1996.

But even if Deborah Parry is found guilty of intentional murder she will not face the death penalty. Miss Gilford's brother, Frank, decided to accept financial compensation instead - as is permitted under Saudi law.

The other British nurse in the case, Lucille McLaughlin, has been found guilty of acting as an accessory to murder. She was sentenced to eight years in prison and 500 lashes but she's appealing and it's not known yet if any date has been set for another hearing.





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