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Family of British man murdered slam ‘woeful’ sentence for killer and plead for ‘true justice’ from authorities in Qatar in final appeal

2nd May 2024

The family of a 38-year-old British father killed on an oil rig in Qatar is appealing the ‘woeful’ 10-year sentence quietly handed down to his killer by a Qatar court and have appointed HCC to begin the process of bringing a civil action against his employer. 

We have been dealing with the strong media interest in the case which you can read on the BBC, ITV, The Sun

Kristie Graham and Robbie Robson

Kristie Graham and Robbie Robson. HCC has been instructed to begin civil action against his employer.

Robert Robson, of Tyne and Wear, was working on the Seafox Burj gas rig off the coast of the Middle Eastern state when he was killed by a fellow employee, also working for Film-Ocean, an underwater inspection company based in Ellon Aberdeenshire, Scotland in December 2022.

His killer,  Scott Forrest, 43, from Maud in Scotland was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to just 10 years in jail in December 2023. He is currently serving the sentence in Qatar.

The family of Mr Robson had an immediate appeal against the leniency of the sentence rejected in January 2024.

Now, his family say they hope ’true justice’ will be served with a stronger sentence by a Qatari court currently reconsidering the case as part of a second and final appeal by the family.

The conclusion of the appeal is set to be confirmed in next month, May 2024.

The family have also confirmed they plan to launch legal action against Mr Robson’s employer relating to working practices and culture on the rig which they feel have contributed to his death.

Kristie Graham, partner of Robert Robson, said:

“We have been devastated by the lenient sentence imposed on Robbie’s killer and we have been fighting for justice through the appeals process since the end of last year. This second appeal is our only hope of ensuring that true justice is served.

“Our lives have been devastated and the fact that the perpetrator has got away with such a light sentence makes it all the more unbearable. As a family we have had to read all the detailed reports into what happened that evening and it is something we would wish on no other family. We place great faith that the Qatari justice system will agree, following this final appeal, that the woeful sentence imposed needs to be reconsidered not only to get true justice for Robbie, but to send a message to the world.

The initial charge of murder should be upheld, given the choice between only ten years imprisonment or a life sentence we’d of course fully endorse the latter.

We were told to prepare for the ‘death penalty’ to be handed down, so to receive the news of a ten year sentence was incomprehensible.

A more severe punishment should be imposed to reflect the gravity of the crime and the loss our family endures. Our youngest child will be just twelve years old if he were to serve the full 10 year sentence. It just can’t be right, we are serving a life sentence – so should he.

“Following information that emerged during the trial we are also deeply unhappy at the role played by his employer and we have instructed lawyers to pursue a civil case against them.

“Robbie was an amazing, one-of-a-kind, beautiful soul. He was a loving partner, dad, son, brother and uncle whose life was taken too soon. Robbie was irreplaceable and he is sorely missed by everyone that knew him.”

Patrick Maguire

Patrick Maguire, partner at HCC

Patrick Maguire, partner at law firm HCC, representing Kristie Graham said:

“The family has not only been through the heartache of losing Robbie but have had to endure the experience of seeing the perpetrator receive a sentence far less than they and others expect in circumstances like this.

“We can confirm that we have been instructed by the family to begin the process of bringing a civil action against Robbie’s employers which will begin in the next few days.”

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