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Slain Nurse Fund To Go to Hospital

October 22, 1997

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) _ An Adelaide hospital said Wednesday it will accept a donation of $720,000 from the brother of an Australian nurse who was murdered in Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Frank Gilford agreed to a payment of $1.2 million to waive his right to call for the death penalty for a British nurse accused of killing his sister. Under Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic law, families of victims have the option of requesting a death sentence, usually public beheading, or asking that the sentence be commuted to a life sentence, usually in exchange for some financial compensation.

British companies doing business with Saudi Arabia raised the funds for the Gilford settlement so economic relations between the two nations wouldn’t be marred.

The Adelaide Woman’s and Children’s Hospital announced Wednesday it would gratefully accept Gilford’s donation.

Yvonne Gilford, 55, was discovered bludgeoned and stabbed at the King Fahd Military Medical Center in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran in December. In September, a Saudi court found Lucille McLauchlan, 31, guilty of being an accomplice in the murder and sentenced her to 500 lashes and eight years in jail.

A second British nurse, Deborah Parry, 38, is awaiting sentencing for the murder.

Saudi lawyers say convicts usually spend no more than five years in prison once the victim’s family commutes the death sentence.

Gilford last week accepted payment of more than $720,000 to build a day surgery center at the Adelaide hospital to be named after his sister. Another $6,000 will go to Gilford’s mother, and Frank Gilford himself will receive ``a nominal sum″ of more than $37,000.

The rest of the money will exhausted in legal costs, he said.

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