The empty bed was the first clue something was terribly wrong.
London West End make-up artist Rafaelle Tsakanika, or Raffy to her friends and family, had gone out in Doha the night before for coffee with a friend.
But when Jo Sullivan, Raffy’s mum, poked her head inside her daughter’s bedroom the next day, the 21- year-old wasn’t there.
Raffy would never come home.
Since March 2019, Raffy’s parents Jo and Donal Sullivan have fought for justice in Qatar, heartbroken and angry the Qatari national responsible for killing their daughter has never served a single day in prison.
Qatari police didn’t even inform them that Raffy was dead, Ms Sullivan said, even though she had laid in a morgue for almost a day, her British passport and other identifying items in her possession.
After calling police, hospitals and friends, Ms Sullivan and her husband drove to a police station in Doha, where they waited for six hours, desperate to learn something.
“They gave us no information,” she said.
“It’s only because we decided that we were getting nowhere that we went to the hospital.”
From ward to ward, they looked for Raffy.
Exhausted, they visited the mortuary to follow up an entry in the hospital’s A&E logbook.
“It just said one female, unknown, DOA,” Ms Sullivan said.
“I thought, it can’t be Raf, it can’t be Raf, because she’s got her passport,” referring to the practice of expats in Gulf countries carrying passports and identification at all times.
“I wasn’t prepared at all, at all, for seeing her body. I didn’t even know she’d died. That’s how horrific it was.
“They literally, without any preparation, without a glass of water, without a chair, without anything, just opened this drawer.
“You can’t imagine the horror and coldness of it. And then they shoved a piece of paper in our hand.”
Raffy was killed just after midnight, on March 30, 2019, in a high-speed hit-and-run on a stretch of desert highway north of Doha.
The man who smashed into her was snapped by a speed camera in his large Toyota Land Cruiser travelling at 191km/h just minutes before the fatal collision, according to court documents seen by nine.com.au.
While Raffy lay dead on the road, he sped off into the night.
Despite a Qatar court finding the driver of the Land Cruiser guilty of causing Raffy’s death, driving in a way that endangered lives, fleeing the scene of an accident and speeding, he has yet to serve his prison sentence.
“They operate on a two-tier justice system,” Ms Sullivan said, only now feeling comfortable to speak openly because her family has left Qatar and returned to England.
“There’s one rule for the Qataris and one rule for foreigners and visitors and expats.
“I don’t understand … why this man is still free?”
That man is Mubarak Al Hajri, a 46-year-old father and Doha local who told police he was speeding home because his son was sick.
He has always denied crashing into the car Raffy was travelling with her friend.
Eyewitnesses told police Al Hajri was driving wildly, flashing his lights on high beam and using the emergency lane to overtake vehicles.
In court documents, one driver claimed Al Hajri was racing another car down the eight-lane highway.
At 12:06am, a speed camera snapped Al Hajri’s unblemished Landcruiser at 191km/h.
Six minutes later, at 12:12am, another camera captured the Landcruiser at 181km/h.
Except in this photo something was different. The Landcruiser was damaged, like it had been involved in an accident.
In those crucial missing minutes, a police investigation established Al Hajri’s vehicle smashed into the back of the vehicle Raffy had been travelling in with her friend.
The missile-like collision sent Raffy’s car into a deadly roll. She and her friend, a Qatari local, were flung onto the road.
Raffy died at the scene, her friend was seriously injured but survived.
Ms Sullivan is devastated a Qatari judge only punished Al Hajri with a two-month sentence, when a maximum term of three years was on offer.
When the Qatari embassy in Canberra was first approached by nine.com.au, it stated Al Hajri had served his two-month sentence.
“The Embassy advises that; Mr. Al Hajri was imprisoned according to a court’s ruling in accordance with applicable laws; for a period of two months,” it said in a statement on April 1, the first time the Qatar government has commented publically on Raffy’s death.
But nine.com.au understands the UK ambassador to Qatar met with the director of the consular affairs department in Doha on Monday, where the Qataris were urged to arrest Al Hajri and put him behind bars.
During the meeting, the British raised concerns over Al Hajri’s failure to serve any time, and how this could negatively impact Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup next year.
When asked again by nine.com.au to confirm that Al Hajri had indeed served a custodial sentence, the Qatari embassy did not repeat their earlier claim.
“The Embassy advises that; the British authorities are following up on these issues with the Qatari authorities through official channels,” it said in a statement.
Hundreds of thousands of football fans from around the world are expected to arrive in Doha next year for the tournament.
“I think (Raffy’s case) needs to be a warning to anybody going to visit the place that it might have nice pretty buildings, but heaven forbid that you’re ever in a situation where you need support or help, you are on your own,” Ms Sullivan said.
She is sceptical over the Qatari investigation and critical of the two month sentence, when the judge could have slapped Al Hajri a maximum of three years.
Ms Sullivan said she will fight on until Al Hajri is put in prison.
“There will come a time that we learn to live with the pain and the loss,” Ms Sullivan said.
“Right now, we’re just in the eye of the storm, we’re trying to try to raise awareness to get justice.”
Ms Sullivan, her husband and son have relocated to the UK, after six years in Qatar.
“We’re just missing her terribly. Everything has about our lives has changed.”