x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Woman arrested after rape claim for illegal sex and drinking

British Muslim and her fiance await trial on charges of illegal sex and alcohol drinking after she reported an alleged rape.

DUBAI // A British woman on holiday in Dubai with her fiance reported a rape to the police only to be arrested herself for illegal sex and drinking. The woman, a 23-year-old of Pakistani descent, was in the emirate for a three-day break, celebrating her engagement. But on New Year's Eve she was allegedly attacked by a waiter while semi-conscious in a hotel toilet. When she reported the attack at the Jebel Ali police station the following morning, she was arrested, after reportedly admitting to illegal drinking and having sexual intercourse outside marriage.

Her fiance, 44, was charged with the same offences. The couple, both from London, have been released on bail and their passports have been confiscated. They are awaiting trial and could be jailed for up to six years if found guilty of the sex charge. Reports say the woman, who is Muslim, admitted to having drunk too much as she and her fiance celebrated their engagement at The Address hotel in Dubai Marina. The waiter, believed to be Syrian, is alleged to have followed her into the toilets and raped her while she was semi-conscious.

Her fiance, whose religion is unknown, later helped her back to the hotel room, unaware of the attack, but when she told him what happened the following morning they contacted the police, where they were then questioned. The woman was given a blood test to prove she had been drinking. A rape exam was administered following an appeal from the British embassy, which is providing consular assistance to the couple.

The alleged attacker denied the rape charge, claiming the woman consented, but has been charged with illegal sex. Yesterday a spokesman for the hotel said, "The hotel cannot comment on the matter as it is sub judice and being investigated by the authorities." Major Abdul al Kadi al Banni, director of the Jebel Ali police station, confirmed that the woman had reported a rape on January 1. He said the police took all necessary measures. However, he added there was also a case filed against the woman and her fiance, for illegal drinking and sexual intercourse. "The woman confessed that she had sexual intercourse with her fiance and that she had alcohol. We cannot just ignore such an offence."

All three suspects were referred to the public prosecution. newsdesk@thenational.ae