Family appeals against ‘lenient’ sentence for Scots rig worker who killed roommate

Robbie Robson, who worked on a Qatari gas rig, was bludgeoned to death by colleague Scott Forrest.

Family appeals against ‘lenient’ sentence for Aberdeenshire rig worker who killed roommate

The family of a British worker killed on a gas rig in the Persian gulf is appealing against the “woeful” sentence handed down to his Scottish killer.

Robbie Robson, 38, was battered to death with a 10 kilogramme iron weight by colleague and roommate, Scott Forrest, from Aberdeenshire, in their accommodation on a rig off the coast of Qatar.

Mr Robson’s family, from Cleadon, Tyne and Wear, were told that his killer could face the death penalty if he was found guilty of murder by the Qatari courts.

They were shocked to find out that, following legal proceedings in December, he was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for just 10 years.

An appeal against that sentence is underway with the outcome likely to be known on Thursday.

A previous appeal was rejected in January, and they have been told these latest proceedings will be the last.

Mr Robson’s partner, Kristie Graham, 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.”

Following information that emerged during the trial, the family is also making a civil claim against his employer.

Ms Graham said: “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.”

Ms Graham, who has a two-year-old son with Mr Robson, added: “The initial charge of murder should be upheld, given the choice between only 10 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 10-year sentence was incomprehensible.

“A more severe punishment should be imposed to reflect the gravity of the crime and the loss our family endures.”

Mr Robson was working for Film-Ocean, an Aberdeenshire-based underwater inspection company, on the Seafox Burj gas rig when he was bludgeoned to death in December 2022.

His killer, from Maud, Aberdeenshire, hit him about 20 times with the weight which was used in submarines, the victim’s family said.

Forrest, 43, who also attacked a co-worker, was believed to be suffering from stress and anxiety at living in cramped conditions.

Patrick Maguire, partner at law firm HCC, which represents Ms 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.”

Film-Ocean has been approached for comment.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Qatar.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code