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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

British expat Asa Hutchinson sentenced to jail after Dubai brunch prank ends in violence

The 22-year-old and a British friend, 26, were found guilty of assault - in absentia - by Dubai Criminal Court following an incident with a Swedish computer executive

Asa Hutchinson was convicted of assault after a fight broke out in a Dubai restaurant.
Asa Hutchinson was convicted of assault after a fight broke out in a Dubai restaurant.

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A British resident has been sentenced to jail for three months for her part in a restaurant fight that left a computer executive with a broken nose.

Asa Hutchinson, 22, was part of a group of three men and two women accused of assaulting a 54-year-old Swedish IBM executive.

A row started when they took a picture of him as he slept and then escalated.

Ms Hutchinson and another man, 26, were charged with assault over the incident on May 27 last year.

Both defendants were convicted of assault at Dubai Criminal court before Judge Habeeb Ahmed Awad.

Neither were present in court. The three other members of the group were not charged.

Earlier, the court heard that the victim was asleep on a sofa at a restaurant in Al Fattan Currency House in DIFC after a brunch.

The group approached and took a picture of him as one of the women posed beside him.

He was awoken by a slap to the face by one of the group and found them surrounding him and laughing, the court was told.

He followed the group outside the building and threatened to call police.

“One of the men spoke to me in a tone as if I was at fault, then tried to hit me, so I pushed him," the man testifed.

"One of the women pulled me away, asking why had I assaulted her son?”

The victim said he was scratched by both women, with one of them snatching his glasses, before he was struck on the nose by one of the group, causing him to fall down.

He then claimed all of the assailants then kicked him while he was prone on the ground.

“I don't even know if it was a punch with a fist or if I was headbutted,” he said.

A security guard at the DIFC building told the court he saw the group take a picture of the man before the trouble began.

He told prosecutors that he saw the group hitting the victim, who was bleeding from the face. He said one of the attackers also tried to choke the victim. Another guard alerted police.

A Dubai Police lieutenant said that CCTV from the venue showed the Swedish man sleeping as the group approached him.

A medical report revealed that the victim suffered a broken nose, finger and toe as well as scratches and bruises and was left with a one percent permanent disability as a result of an injury to his left nostril.

Ms Hutchinson, who was working for a global transportation firm in Dubai at the time, protested her innocence to the British press.

No deportation order was made in court.

*This article has been updated to clarify Hutchinson was sentenced in absentia and was not present in court this week

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