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Jailed British nurse weds fiance in ceremony in Saudi kingdom

November 30, 1997

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A British nurse convicted in a colleague’s killing married her fiance Sunday in a small civil ceremony near her prison.

A Saudi judge presided over Lucille McLauchlan’s wedding at a courthouse in the eastern city of Damman, a British Embassy official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

McLauchlan, 32, and nurse Deborah Parry, 39, were convicted in the December 1996 killing of fellow nurse Yvonne Gilford, who was found beaten, stabbed and suffocated in her hotel room in the nearby city of Dhahran.

Other than McLauchlan, groom Grant Ferrie, 31, and her brother, John McLauchlan, British consul Lawson Ross was the only other person present for the ceremony.

McLauchlan wore a dress _ not the enveloping black gown and veil that women in this conservative Islamic kingdom are required to wear in public.

Britain provided cake and flowers for the reception at a nearby police station, attended by co-defendant Parry.

Both women gave confessions but then recanted, saying they had confessed under duress. McLauchlan was found guilty as an accessory and sentenced to eight years in prison and 500 lashes.

Parry was found guilty of murder. She escaped beheading when the slain nurse’s brother waived his right to demand the death penalty in exchange for financial compensation, as allowed by Saudi law.

Parry has not yet been sentenced.

``It is up to the authorities and I think it will be on the lower side,″ defense attorney Salah al-Hejailan said Sunday, adding that his law firm was pushing for the women to serve their sentences in Britain.

McLauchlan and Ferrie, a tire-factory worker, were engaged last year before she went to Saudi Arabia.

He has visited her several times since her arrest and will be allowed conjugal visits, the embassy official said.

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