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Monday, January 18, 1999 Published at 12:30 GMT


Former Saudi nurse sentenced

McLauchlan: Caught stealing on bank security camera

Lucille McLauchlan, the nurse who spent 17 months in prison in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to the maximum 240 hours community service in a Scottish court for theft and fraud.

The BBC's Andrew Cassell: "Lucille McLauchlan is likely to be struck off the nursing register"
McLauchlan, 33, was caught on a bank security camera stealing £300 from the account of a 79-year-old dying patient. In addition to the community service, she has also been ordered to pay £300 in compensation.

Sheriff Alastair Stewart, at Dundee Sheriff Court, said:" 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."

Sheriff Stewart said the offences meant that a prison sentence had to be considered, "but that would not achieve anything for you and it would not do society any good either".

The sheriff asked the media not to hound McLauchlan as she completed her community service. Her lawyer, William Boyle, said she would not enjoy anonymity and that "her fate would be far worse than the law. She has been subjected to hate mail".

McLauchlan did not comment as she left the court and entered a waiting taxi.

Asked to be struck off

Her conviction will start moves to have her struck off the nursing register. As she has already asked for her name to be removed, the process is likely to be a formality and will not involve her appearing before a hearing.

Stuart Skyte, spokesman for the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, said: "For somebody who doesn't want to stay on the register, it is pretty unlikely that the hearing would be contested."

The offence took place nearly three years ago while Lucille McLauchlan was a nurse at King's Cross Hospital in Dundee.

She was found guilty of stealing the money and of forging employment references after a two-day trial last month at Dundee sheriff's court.

McLauchlan was jailed for eight years and ordered to receive 500 lashes in 1997 as an accessory to the murder of Yvonne Gilford at a Saudi hospital complex where the women worked.

She was released in May after the dead woman's family agreed to accept a "blood money" payment under Islamic law and King Fahd commuted the sentences.

The sentence was welcomed by Frank Gilford, brother of Ms Gilford, who took part in negotiations for the "blood money".

"He handed down the appropriate sentence," Mr Gilford said from his home in Jamestown, Australia.

"What has happened is in the past, and what's happened to her now is her problem.

"I reckon she deserves it. How can you go out and steal from somebody in your care? That's one of the worst type of crimes you can get, it's just like robbing somebody in their home."

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21 Dec 98†|†UK
Former Saudi nurse guilty of theft

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