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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

British teacher could face jail term for calling judge 'rude'

Woman on insult charge after row calls on court to 'show mercy'

A British teacher has been handed  suspended jail term after calling a judge at Dubai's Personal Status Court 'rude'. Chris Whiteoak / The National
A British teacher has been handed  suspended jail term after calling a judge at Dubai's Personal Status Court 'rude'. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A British teacher could face up to a year in jail after landing herself in court for calling a judge "rude".

The 49 year old woman was visiting the Personal Status Court in Al Garhoud, Dubai, to find out how to get married in the emirate, when tempers flared.

The defendant asked to see the presiding judge, Jamal Hamad Al Shehi, after being told she did not have the required documentation, but after he told her she needed all the necessary papers to progress the matter, she said her treatment was rude.

She insisted her remark was directed at a court translator rather than the judge himself, but was reported to police.

A court employee said the woman's remarks were used towards the judge rather than a member of staff.

During police questioning, she said she did not mean to offend the judge.

In court, the woman admitted issuing insults during the incident on September 5.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment or a fine of up to Dh10,000.

The defendant's passport was taken after her arrest and her sponsorship was cancelled, court records said.

“I spoke with the receptionist and told her that I have all the documents needed except for one but she insisted that I get it, then I asked to meet with the judge and explain to him,” she said, in the court records.

“I said rude, but I did not mean him.”

During the court hearing, the woman apologised for her actions, saying she was upset at the time, and called for the court to "show mercy".

A verdict is expected on October 10.