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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

British teacher who called Dubai judge 'rude' is spared jail

Woman was handed an insult charge after tempers flared at Personal Status Court

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 who landed herself in court after calling a judge "rude" has been spared jail.

The 49-year-old woman was at the Personal Status Court in Al Garhoud, Dubai, on September 5 to inquire about the procedures for getting married when she got involved in a spat with staff.

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 as she left his office.

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

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

A female court employee , who was present inside the judge’s office at the time of the incident, said the teacher’s remarks were used towards the judge rather than a member of staff.

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

At Dubai Misdemeanours court, the woman admitted issuing insults during but said she did not mean to offend anyone.

“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”.

Presiding Judge Ayman Abdul Hakam sentenced the woman to a suspended two months in prison in which case, she will not serve the term unless she repeats a similar offence within three years from the date the verdict was issued.

The teacher can appeal the sentence within 14 days.