x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

WhatsApp message ends UAE couple's 10-year marriage

A WhatsApp notification from a strange man ended a couple's 10-year marriage, but the husband denies assault charges a Dubai court hears.

DUBAI // A text message from a strange man ended a 10-year marriage, a court heard today.

The couple were alone in their hotel room when the husband saw the message and accused his wife of cheating on him.

Prosecutors told the Misdemeanours Court the Emirati couple, who have two children together, were enjoying a “quiet night away from home” at the Grand Hyatt on March 8 when the wife’s phone rang, indicating the receipt of a message on her WhatsApp application.

The husband looked at the screen and became enraged when he saw it was from a man named Khalid, whom he did not know.

Snatching the phone from her grasp he checked her contacts book and found another man he did not know listed as "The Captain".

"I told her to go to her family's house and never return to mine. I said I would send her the divorce papers there," said the husband, who left his wife at the hotel room.

Ten days later the husband S?A, 38, was told by police that his wife had lodged a complaint against him, claiming he had assaulted her and insulted her honour.

"When we arrived at the hotel room, he grabbed me by my hair, beat me up with his hands and threw my mobile at my head before banging my head to the wall," said M?A, 40. She said her husband often beat her and accused her of cheating, and that sometimes he would ask his friends to call her and flirt to see if she would flirt back.

"I would always hang up the phone and never give any man a chance," she said.

A medical report the wife gave prosecutors showed she suffered bruises and scratches to her cheek.

"That's just an attempt by her to cover her bad behaviour," the husband told the court.

He denied charges of assault and issuing insults. The case was adjourned to May 21.

salamir@thenational.ae