x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Couple accused of sex out of wedlock say they were married

A mother who was arrested shortly after giving birth and charged with having sex outside of wedlock has been married to the baby's father for the past five years, the Misdemeanour Court heard.

DUBAI // A mother who was arrested shortly after giving birth and charged with having sex outside of wedlock has been married to the baby's father for the past five years, the Misdemeanour Court heard.

SF, an unemployed 35-year-old from Sri Lanka, told prosecutors that after she gave birth at Latifa Hospital on July 9 her husband SJ, a 29-year-old blacksmith, presented a copy of their marriage contract, but was told this was not sufficient to prove their relationship as either an original or an attested copy was needed.

When he could not provide this, they were both arrested and charged with sex outside of wedlock.

"She is my wife and we have a child together in Sri Lanka and this baby girl is mine also," the father told investigators. He said his wife followed him to the UAE in 2010 three years after they got married, leaving their other child in Sri Lanka.

The mother said that she took a job as a maid with a family in Sharjah but ran away after six months to live with her husband in Jumeirah because they abused her and did not pay her. Prosecution records said they lived together in a small room where they had sex "repeatedly".

In addition to the consensual sex charge the mother was charged with absconding from her sponsor, working for someone other than her sponsor and overstaying her visa.

"I am guilty for absconding and overstaying my visa but I am not for having sex with my husband," the mother told prosecutors.

Neither the mother nor the father appeared in court yesterday. Both were summoned to appear at the next hearing, which was scheduled for September 12.

 

salamir@thenational.ae