x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Cabbie beat passenger with shovel, court told

A taxi driver who was robbed and assaulted by three passengers beat one of them unconscious with a shovel, and is facing attempted murder charges.

DUBAI // A taxi driver who was robbed by three passengers beat one of them unconscious with a shovel, a court has been told. SM, 20, an Emirati student, HM, 29, an unemployed Emirati, and KA, a 21-year-old Iranian trader, flagged down a cab driven by MI, 28, in Rashidiya on November 28 last year and asked him to take them to Mirdif, according to records at Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. 

MI told prosecutors his passengers asked him to stop the car in a poorly lit area of Mirdif. He said one of them got out of the cab and hit him on the face, neck and chest, another held him from behind and tried to choke him, while the third stole his wallet and his mobile phone. MI said he chased the three men to nearby villas, where HM brandished a pocket knife and jumped at him, knocking him to the ground. "I found a shovel next to me and swiped SM with it on the face," MI told prosecutors.

After SM was knocked to the ground, HM fled. A local resident, Suhaib Abdullah, 34, from Jordan, told prosecutors he heard noises outside his house at about 1.30am. He said he saw MI, his clothes in tatters, pulling an unconscious SM along the ground while beating him about the body with a shovel. MI asked him to call the police, he said. "I was shocked at the sight. He was hitting him on his legs, head and face while he lay passed out on the ground," Mr Abdullah said.

Forensic reports presented to the court from the medical examiner showed that the taxi driver suffered a broken nose, while SM received blows to the head, suffered internal bleeding and was admitted to the intensive care unit of Rashid Hospital, where he was placed on a life-support system. MI was charged with attempted murder. The three passengers were charged with theft. The case was adjourned until this month.

amustafa@thenational.ae