Lauren Patterson: Qatar announces arrests made in UK Teacher’s Murder

Latest Updates 19th October 2013 at 09:40pm Qatar time: Mother of British teacher shares details of daughter’s death. Re-tweeted from Doha news. With the confirmation of her death, relatives have revealed horrific details about what they believe to be the 24-year-old’s final hours.

Speaking to the Daily Mail while in Doha, Alison Patterson, the 58-year-old mother of the deceased, said her eldest child is believed to have been stabbed to death by an acquaintance.

The man, which the UK tabloid identified as Qatari, had given Patterson and her friend a ride home when leaving a nightclub at La Cigale in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 12.

According to the family, which has thus far only spoken to the Daily Mail, the man is said to have dropped her friend off and then taken Patterson back to his home, where she was allegedly stabbed to death.

It is unclear whether a sexual assault took place, because Patterson’s remains are too badly burned to tell. The Mail, which posted its report online around 1am this morning and removed it without explanation 12 hours later, continues:

“The alleged killer and an accomplice then drove her miles out of the capital Doha and dug a pit in the desert which they filled with charcoal before pouring petrol on her body, setting it alight and fleeing.

The blaze was so intense that her body was reduced to ashes apart from a piece of her skull and her feet.”

Patterson’s body was found the same day, when a Qatari hunter and his falcon discovered the burning corpse, the Mail reports – a story corroborated by a Doha Newssource as well.

Police apparently laid in wait and arrested the alleged accomplice to Patterson’s murder when he returned to the scene several hours later. The police reportedly found petrol cans with the man’s fingerprints on them, and a knife was found with the burned remains.

According to the Mail, the acquaintance was also brought in, both men have both confessed and would face the death penalty if found guilty of murder – though notably, Qatar has had a stay on executions for the past decade. The Ministry of Interior has announced the arrest of two suspects, but offered no further details on the case.

Frantic hours

Patterson’s mother and Malta-based boyfriend first began an online campaign to find the teacher on Sunday afternoon, but only hours later announced on Facebook mourned her loss.

British media initially reported a number of inaccuracies regarding the case, including that Patterson’s body was found in a dumpster and that her body was identified by a distinctive tattoo.

The Mail now reports that despite difficulty in identifying her body, a mouth brace that appeared to belong to Patterson had survived the fire, leading her loved ones to expect the worst.

Online tributes have been pouring in for Patterson, who taught kindergarten students at Newton British School. Parents here told Doha News that they are shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Patterson’s mother has said:

“What has happened to my daughter is absolutely terrible but I do not in any way blame Qatar. Dreadful things can happen anywhere. We have been very grateful for the work by officials in Qatar to help bring those responsible to justice.”

Latest Updates 19th October 2013 at 09:35am Qatar time: More details are emerging about the circumstances surrounding a 24-year-old British teacher’s death in Qatar, but many questions still remain.

Three separate sources have told Doha Newsthat the body of Lauren Patterson, who disappeared over the weekend, was found in the desert this week.

But friends have said DNA testing to prove a positive identification is still pending. This is because the body was burned beyond recognition, inquiries at the mortuary of Hamad Hospital have revealed.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Patterson’s mother, Alison, said she and her brother are in Doha to “fight for justice” for Lauren. The newspaper reports:

“Speaking publicly for the first time since the murder, Mrs Patterson, 48, she said it had been ‘extremely stressful’ waiting for forensic results to confirm the body was her daughter’s.

But she praised authorities in the Gulf state for their thorough investigation – which saw police arrest two local men who have now made confessions.”


Lauren, 24, was last seen at 1.20am on October 12 after leaving a nightclub at the five-star La Cigale Hotel in the capital city Doha. Daily Mirror has reported earlier.

Two men have been arrested over the suspected murder of a young British teacher in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Lauren Patterson, 24, was last seen at 1.20am on October 12 after leaving a nightclub at the five-star La Cigale Hotel in the capital city Doha.

It is believed she got into a taxi with a group of people including her ex-boyfriend – a local man – and her body was later discovered in bins near the hotel.

Lauren’s mother Alison Patterson, 48, was due to officially identify her daughter’s body in Doha on today, according to local media reports.

Two suspects have been arrested, according to the Qatar Interior Ministry while The Times reported that Lauren’s body was found in the desert.

Lauren had only returned to Doha from the UK on Friday after going home to attend her grandmother’s funeral.

Her boyfriend James Grima, an IT worker and DJ, had posted messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the weekend, appealing for help to find her when she went missing.

His appeal went viral across social media and the internet but he later updated his Facebook to reveal she had died.

He wrote: “I can’t believe that it had to end this way Lauren, really I don’t.

“I was so happy that I had finally found someone that could my change my life so much, and in such a positive way too – Rest In Peace babe, I will always look up at the sky cause you always were the brightest star and always will be.”

Meanwhile Alison Patterson’s home at West Malling, Kent, was empty yesterday.

A neighbour said: “She’s not here, she’s away and I’m looking after the house, but I’m not saying anymore.”

Lauren’s sister Georgia, 16, and brother David, 14, were thought to be in England.

Their father Stuart had passed away in 2008 aged just 44.

The family had moved back to Kent recently after living in Luxembourg for seven years.

Lauren grew up in Chislehurst, Kent, and used to attend Langley Park School for Girls in nearby Beckenham.

She had been working as a primary teacher at Newton British School in Doha.

Mum Alison wrote on her Facebook page: “Thank you so much to everyone for all their wonderful words about Lauren.

“She was a truly remarkable girl my rock always there for everyone. I know she’s in heaven now in her Daddy’s arms.”

Lauren’s close friends Tiffany Lingham and Michelle Muscat changed their profile pictures on Facebook to ones featuring Lauren.

Friend Emma Nye said: “What an incredible best friend. Lauren Patterson you devious child. Can’t handle the hurt in my heart. I love you so much. Will never forget all the hilarious memories we have. Be good up there! Love you.”

Another friend Miranda Cecil posted a picture on Facebook of Lauren in a Panda onesie.

She wrote: “This was only a week ago and she put it on Instagram and tagged me in it. Oh my baby girl!!!”

Lauren’s sister Georgia uploaded a picture of them together and said thank you to those sending messages of sympathy.

Friend Lorna Ann Campbell paid tribute, saying: “I can’t get my head around why someone so special has been taken from us.

“She meant the world to us and we will never forget how beautiful she was.

“You couldn’t ask for a better friend. Her family meant everything to her and she was always talking about you all.

Sending love and prayers to you all.”

Natalie Dubois added: “I love her so much, she will always be the most amazing person I ever had the pleasure of knowing.

“She was the most incredible friend, and it shows in all the wonderful messages people are sending from all around the world.

“Thinking of you Alison, Georgia, David,

and all the family. xxx”

Another friend Lauren Hyde wrote: “Alison, I am so very sorry to hear this horrendous news. Lauren truly was a wonderful young lady and I remember her with such fond memories.

“She was the most beautiful caring person and a fantastic sister to Georgia and David. Lots of love to you all.”

Lauren Davey said: “My dear friend has been taken from her family and friends Lauren Patterson I love u soooo much and will never ever forget u.

“U was taken from us to soon but u can now be with ur daddy. Xxx”

Yesterday there was no response to an inquiry for information about Lauren’s suspected murder from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.

A British Foreign Office spokesman repeated a line saying that it was aware that a woman had been reporting missing in Doha and that it was supporting her family.

Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022 , is considered to be one of the safest spots in the Middle East for expatriates.

Last November an American pre-school teacher, 40-year-old Jennifer Brown, was allegedly killed there by a Kenyan security guard.

He will face trial next month and could be given the death penalty if convicted.

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