Family unhappy with inquest verdict on woman killed in Qatar

Kerry Anne Rome in a picture provided by her family.
Kerry Anne Rome in a picture provided by her family.
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A woman from Thurlby who was killed while working in Qatar by an unlicensed motorbike rider who was racing his friend, an inquest has heard.

Kerry Rome, 33, from Thurlby, died instantly when she was hit by a high-powered Suzuki bike on her way home from a night out on April 20, 2012. She was crossing a road in Doha, where she was working, but was in a parking lane when she was hit.

The 21-year-old motorbike rider did not have a driving licence and was convicted of killing Kerry in a Qatari court in 2012.

Kerry’s family attended an inquest into her death at Stamford Town Hall today (Tuesday, June 3).

They hoped to hear coroner Prof Robert Forrest record a verdict of unlawful death but the coroner recorded a verdict of death caused as a result of a road traffic collision.

Giving evidence, Kerry’s mother Margaret Dench described the moment she found out about her daughter’s death as “the worst phonecall of my life”.

She added: “My lovely daughter Kerry would be here today if that reckless, dangerous motorcyclist had not been racing with a friend at 2am in the morning.”

Prof Forrest explained to Kerry’s family, which included her mother and stepfather Margaret and Mike Dench, and her father Roy Rome, of Peterborough, that he did not have enough evidence to record a verdict of unlawful killing.

But he said a Qatari judge had “quite rightly” described the motorcyclist’s speed as “excessive.”

He added: “It had appeared that the motorcyclist was undertaking one of his companions when the collision took place.”

Kerry was a technical director at the Al Jazeera English language television network and lived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia up until her move to Doha. Kerry’s widower Mark Harris gave evidence at the inquest, paid tribute to his late wife, who he married in Las Vegas in 2011.

Mr Harris, originally from Market Deeping, said: “Kerry was an amazing person. She was kind, generous, there to help and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“We were career-oriented adults who relocated abroad to make a good life and good careers for ourselves. This was all taken away by a man who was out racing a motorbike with his friends.”