x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Laundry worker 'assaulted women while they slept'

A man who allegedly broke into homes and groped the female residents while they slept has appeared in court to face charges including sexual assault.

DUBAI // A man who allegedly broke into homes and groped the female residents while they slept has appeared in court to face charges including sexual assault.

S S, a 28-year-old Sri Lankan laundry worker, was arrested on October 20 after police received reports stating a man had been illegally entering residences in the Jumeirah area and fondling the occupants. At the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday, he denied charges of sexual assault but pleaded guilty to trespassing and illegal consumption of alcohol.

The suspect broke into the home of a British family in the middle of night and sexually abused a personal assistant as she slept next to her husband, prosecution records showed. The woman told prosecutors she felt someone touching her, which woke her up in time to see someone fleeing her bedroom.

"It was 4am and I felt a hand on my bottom as I was sleeping," she said. "When I looked up I saw the profile of a man in the shadows exiting the room. I woke up my husband and he thought that it was our son sleepwalking. When I checked his room he was sound asleep."

Dubai police announced S S had been arrested on November 8. He is believed to be behind at least two similar assaults, according to Lt Col Ahmad al Merri, who heads criminal investigations at Dubai Police.

In the second incident, which also happened in Jumeirah, a 35-year-old Asian woman was assaulted inside her home in the same manner as the first case, police said. S S was picked up after officers were informed by a police patrol that they had stopped a pick-up truck.

"They pulled it over on a random stop," Lt Col al Merri said at the time.

"They checked the driver's ID and registration and found nothing out of place, so they released him. We arrested him and put him in a police line-up and the [British] wife identified him.

"He confessed and said he did it for sexual kicks. We then discovered he had done the same thing 10 days before."

The court will reconvene on January 20 to issue its verdict.

 

amustafa@thenational.ae