Saudi murder case nurse Lucille McLauchlan dies

Lucille McLaughlan, pictured last year, is on life support. Picture: Contributed
Lucille McLaughlan, pictured last year, is on life support. Picture: Contributed
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A DISGRACED Scottish nurse, convicted of being an accessory to the murder of a colleague in Saudi Arabia 18 years ago, died in hospital yesterday after suffering a “catastrophic” brain haemorrhage.

Lucille Ferrie, formerly McLauchlan, passed away in the early hours yesterday after her family took the decision to switch off her life support machine.

She had been taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital on Sunday after she collapsed at her home in Broughty Ferry on the outskirts of Dundee, just hours after posting a Facebook message which said: “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”

A close family friend revealed she was found by her two children: 13-year-old son Zac and 11-year-old daughter Mica.

Ms McLauchlan’s solicitor, William Boyle, confirmed that she died in the early hours after her family had requested that doctors switch off her life support system. In line with her wishes, her organs are to be used for life-saving transplants.

It is understood that McLauchlan, 48, was taken off her life support system shortly after midnight and died some five hours later.

Mr Boyle said: “Following on from the traumatic brain haemorrhage which Lucille suffered, the family, on medical advice, took the decision to instruct doctors to remove her life support system in the early hours of the morning.

“This was done in accordance with Lucille’s well-known wishes. Her family were around her when she passed.”

He added: “Arrangements have also been made for her organs to be used to help others, and, in line with her wishes, her organs have been donated for transplant operations.”

Mr Boyle said the “catastrophic” brain haemorrhage she suffered at the weekend had come completely “out of the blue”.

He added: “The family ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

In 1996, McLauchlan was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and 500 lashes by a Saudi court for her part in the murder of Australian nurse Yvonne Gilford and the theft of her credit cards.

Ms Gilford was found stabbed, bludgeoned and suffocated in her room at the King Fahd Military Medical Centre in Dhahran.

Another British nurse, Deborah Parry, from Hampshire, was found guilty of murder and was originally sentenced to be beheaded after her conviction.

Both women were pardoned by King Fahd in 1998 and freed after serving only 17 months in prison following the UK government’s intervention. The women claimed they only confessed after having been threatened with sexual abuse.

McLauchlan married her fiancé Grant Ferrie while in a Saudi prison. They had separated before her death. She was banned from working as a nurse following her return to the UK.

It was then revealed that she had been sacked from her nursing job in Scotland and had gone to Saudi Arabia to work, to escape being sentenced for stealing £300 from an elderly patient.

In 2008, the former nurse was declared bankrupt at Dundee Sheriff Court.

McLauchlan had also made a series of court appearances in Dundee in recent years. She was convicted in 2011 of fraudulently using another person’s credit and debit cards to order and obtain electrical goods, including two televisions and a netbook computer, over the internet.

She was placed on probation for two years in March 2011 after her lawyer, Mr Boyle, told the court: “Whatever happened in Saudi Arabia has left an indelible mark. It changed her. She has felt little in the way of emotions since that time.

“Ms Ferrie welcomes these proceedings as an opportunity to change back to what she was before [her time in Saudi Arabia].”

She was then fined £65 in November 2011 at Dundee’s Justice of the Peace Court after stealing a digital radio from an Asda store in Dundee.

McLauchlan last appeared in Dundee Sheriff Court in October 2012 when she was admonished after admitting stealing a tub of face cream from a Boots store in Broughty Ferry.