Published: 15:44, 18 November 2019
| Updated: 20:36, 18 November 2019
The killer of a former school teacher could be released in "months", it has been claimed, after attempts to force a court to impose a harsher punishment failed.
Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabr had twice been sentenced to death in his home country of Qatar after being found guilty of murdering Lauren Patterson, formerly of Leybourne Chase, West Malling.
KMTV report on fears the killer could be released in months
However, an appeal last November saw his death sentence reduced to 10 years in jail.
Now, an attempt by Miss Patterson's family to extend the sentence back has been quashed, meaning al-Jabr is set to be released in four years, or even less, according to the victim's relatives.
Lauren's mother Alison Patterson said: "I'm totally shocked, we relied on them so much and trusted them that they would give justice because it was promised so many times.
"He's already served nearly six years so could be out within four or even earlier depending on good behaviour.
"Twice a year they pardon prisoners in Qatar so it might even be a matter of months.
"I think I'm feeling worse as the day has gone on and the more I think about it - I really didn't expect it.
"We've done everything we should have done but they've made fools out of us.
"It seems as though if you are Qatari you have carte blanche to do whatever you want."
Miss Patterson had been teaching at the Newton British School in Qatar when she went missing following a night out in Doha.
The 24-year-old’s body was found badly burned and with a knife still stuck in her ribcage, dumped in a remote part of the desert in October 2013.
Burned beyond recognition, the corpse had to be identified using comparison with her mother's DNA.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Our staff have been supporting the family of Lauren Patterson throughout the legal process and will continue to support them following their tragic loss.”
More by this authorTom Pyman