x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

BlackBerry stalker receives year in prison from Dubai court

A 21-year-old soldier has been sentenced to a year in prison for stalking and harassing a woman he met on BlackBerry Messenger six months ago.

DUBAI // A 21-year-old soldier has been sentenced to a year in prison for stalking and harassing a woman he met on BlackBerry Messenger six months ago.

After several months of chatting on BBM with a 23-year-old Emirati bank employee, MM began telling his crush he loved her and wanted to marry her, the Dubai Criminal Court was told.

"I turned him down because much of his behaviour was unacceptable to me," said the 23-year-old. After the rejection, she said he began following her to work and stalking her.

On the afternoon of April 4 this year, as she was leaving her office and walking towards her car, she said she saw him following her.

"This was not the first time. I have seen him before sitting in his car and chasing me around," she said.

The defendant walked up behind her and put a hand on her shoulder. She told him not to touch her and the defendant then followed her to her car, insulting her family and brothers along the way.

When she got to her vehicle he tried to stop her from driving away by sticking his body through an open window.

"I panicked and hit two parked cars," she said.

After the crash, she stopped her car and called police. She received two tickets from police for the crash.

MM denied charges of sexually assaulting the woman by touching her shoulder and harassing his victim, however he was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison.

salamir@thenational.ae