DUBAI // A 15-year-old British boy has been charged with assaulting a schoolfriend who later died in a fall from an apartment block.
Defendant HJ got into a fight with Harry Harling, also 15, at a party in Newbridge Hill 1, Motor City, Dubai, on March 23, a court heard today. Police later ruled that Harry committed suicide by jumping from the 11th floor later that night.
Party host HA told the Dubai Court of Family and Juveniles that Harry had turned up at the party at about 10.30pm and was "totally drunk".
"At midnight I found Harry crying alone by the lift and he told me he was heading home," said HA.
His mother tried to call him several times to no avail. Harry was found dead on the grass next to the block by a security guard the following morning.
"His last message was at nearly 9.30pm when he said that he was heading to the party and would be sleeping over," said Harry's mother.
Prosecutors originally filed a case of mutual assault charges against both boys but the charge against Harry was dropped as he was dead.
HJ was not present in court but the judge merely gave him a verbal reprimand.
The security guard, TB, found Harry on the grass at 9.20am on March 24. He said: "I saw a boy who was not from the building's tenants lying on the grass," adding that he realised that the boy was dead and called police.
When police arrived and investigated the area, the window to an 11th floor corridor was found forcefully opened.
No footprints other than that of the deceased were found near the window.
Prosecutors said that there were no signs of a struggle to suggest that the boy was thrown out of the window.
The post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death to be a broken neck, internal bleeding and failure in the breathing process.
Forensic experts said Harry had a high alcohol content in his bloodstream but not enough for him to be unable to function normally.