On Friday, a Lebanese court sentenced a local Uber driver to death over the attempted rape and murder of a British diplomat who was residing in Beirut — a case that dates back to December 2017. 

Tarek Houshieh, the driver, was also ordered to pay an undisclosed sum of money to the charitable foundation set up in Rebecca Dykes' name. 

At the time of the tragedy, the 30-year-old victim had been working for the Department of International Development at the UK embassy in Lebanon. Dykes' body was found strangled and dumped at the side of a highway in Beirut hours after she had gone missing.

Though the killer was sentenced to death, the decision against him is unlikely to be carried out as the Lebanese government has instituted a moratorium (a suspension) on the practice. 

The execution law has yet to be officially abolished in the country, but it has not been in practice since 2004. The sentence will most likely translate to life in prison along with hard labor.

The British embassy in Beirut welcomed the sentence in a statement published via its official social media platforms while reinstating its opposition to the death penalty. 

"The British Embassy hopes that for those close to Becky, the Court's decision will provide a degree of closure. While we welcome the guilty verdict, the UK government continues to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances," the statement read. 

It also featured a tribute to Dykes, who was remembered as a "talented, devoted humanitarian."

The young woman's family also responded to the verdict. Speaking to press, Dykes' mother, Jane Houng said she awaits the day when her daughter's murderer "seeks forgiveness from all the people he has hurt," according to The National.

The case left people in Lebanon shocked in 2017

Dykes' horrific killing stirred controversy over the safety of taxi-hailing app Uber in Lebanon in 2017, as many claimed the driver had a criminal record and questioned how Uber had hired him in the first place. 

Days after the murder, the country's former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said the ride-hailing app was "unsafe." 

In response, a spokesman for Uber Lebanon dismissed Machnouk's comments, reassuring the public that the driver who murdered Dykes had "presented a clean criminal record, as stipulated by the company's policy."

In remembrance of her work and unjust death, the young woman's family and friends established the Rebecca Dykes Foundation that "works on improving the lives of refugees and vulnerable communities in Lebanon as well as working on gender equality."

In 2018, the British embassy in the country launched the Rebecca Dykes Chevening Scholarship, which provides Lebanese and Palestinian women living in Lebanon a chance to apply for fully funded degrees in the UK.