x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Drunk 'drags woman from lift in rape attempt'

A drunken man dragged a woman from a lift and forced her into an apartment to rape her but she was saved by a doorbell, a court heard this morning.

DUBAI // A drunken man dragged a woman from a lift and forced her into an apartment to rape her but she was saved by the ring of a doorbell, a court heard today.

S?M, 40, Filipina, told prosecutors that on February 3, after visiting her friend in Boulevard City Suites in Al Qusais, the Emirati defendant A?J, 26, got into the lift with her.

When the lift stopped on the seventh floor, A?J put his hand on her shoulder.

"No, no," said S?M, but A?J grabbed her around the waist and dragged her into a corridor to an apartment.

"He knocked on the door and another man opened, then he pushed me inside," S?M said, according to prosecutors' records.

Frightened, she begged A?J to let her go and continued screaming in an attempt to attract attention. "He made a sign on his neck implying that he would cut my throat if I continued screaming," S?M said.

The doorbell rang and when the defendant opened the door, S?M rushed outside and climbed down a stairwell from the seventh floor, screaming.

"The staircase was dark and I was scared and hysterical," she said.

A?J denied the charge of attempted rape, kidnap and consumption of alcohol.

Prosecutors said A?J had consumed five glasses of whisky before the alleged incident.

A?B, a 24-year-old Indian accountant, testified that he was with the defendant and a number of women at the hotel in Al Qusais consuming alcohol.

"A dispute erupted between A?J and another man and shortly after I heard a woman screaming: "Don't kill me, I don't want to die", A?B told prosecutors.

A?B said he saw the woman running outside the flat when the defendant opened the door for his Moroccan girlfriend.

S?M reported the incident to police a week after it happened, and they extracted surveillance camera recordings that showed a man dragging a woman from the lift and through the corridor.

Prosecutors said A?J had confessed only to holding the woman's hand while drunk.

The next hearing will be on May 27.

salamir@thenational.ae