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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

British man sends alarm bells ringing after escape bid at Dubai police station, court hears

Defendant accused of setting off fire alarms and trying to flee through emergency exit

A British man detained at a Dubai police station set off the fire alarm system in a fit of rage and then tried to escape through the emergency exit, a court heard.

The 29-year-old was being held at Al Qusais Police Station when staff were alerted to screams coming from his cell.

He complained of breathing difficulties and was taken out to be assessed by the medical team.

But after it was concluded he was in good health he set off the fire alarm, breaking its glass screen, and then fled to the emergency exit.

His escape, however, was thwarted by an officer who blocked his path.

“He was checked by the medical team who said he was fine,” said a Yemeni policeman, 22.

The officer said the man became angry as they tried to take him back to his cell.

“My colleague at the emergency exit stopped him from leaving. He then entered an office and picked up a policewoman’s mobile phone left on the desk and tried to make a call,” said the officer.

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The defendant then smashed the mobile phone and knocked staff to the ground as they tried to subdue him, the court heard.

He admitted damaging the fire alarm system when he appeared before Dubai Criminal Court, but denied physical assault, sabotaging a Dubai Police landline phone and damaging an officer's mobile.

The incident took place at 11.30pm on February 6.

“He didn’t assault us nor did he try, but he had a strong build and fiercely resisted us, which caused us to fall,” said a 24-year-old officer.

The defendant was subdued and taken back to his cell, but two officers received bruises and scratches in the incident.

A verdict in the case is expected on September 20.

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