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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Scottish tourist in court over incident in packed Dubai bar

Electrician allegedly touched customer indecently then flashed middle finger 

A Scottish tourist is accused of drunkenly touching a man at a bar in Dubai.

Jamie Harron, 27, who was in a bar in Barsha Heights, was arrested after a complaint by a German customer.

Prosecutors told Dubai Criminal Court that when the German questioned Harron about touching his behind, the accused flashed his middle finger at him.

The man denied a charge of sexual assault on Sunday morning.

He had already denied charges of consuming alcohol without a licence and committing a publicly indecent act by flagging his middle finger, at Dubai Court of Misdemeanours.

The incident occurred on July 15 and the German was out with friends when he said he suddenly felt the accused touching him.

“I asked him why he did so and he didn't answer me, instead flashing his middle finger at me,” said the 49-year-old German manager, who had not met the accused before.

“I didn't say anything nor did I scream or insult him. I just called police.”

A 27-year-old mechanical engineer, who is a witness friend of Harron, told prosecutors that the Scotsman did not mean to offend the man.

“He was passing near the other man and accidentally touched his arm then immediately apologised and he patted him on his behind in a gesture that meant he was sorry,” said the witness.

The case has obtained widespread international media coverage and reports say Harron was on a two-day stopover in Dubai on his way back to Afghanistan, where he works as an electrician.

Harron was publicly identified by his lawyers and spoke out to claim that he was walking through a crowded bar and accidentally touched the German as he tried to avoid spilling a drink.

A verdict is due on October 22.