x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Emirati jailed for assault

Man claims he thought Singaporean tourist was a prostitute when he touched her inappropriately.

DUBAI // A man who mistook a Singaporean tourist for a prostitute outside a Dubai hotel and touched her backside pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of assault, committing a lewd act and impersonating a policeman. "I touched her by mistake," KH, 23, told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance as he entered his plea at the brief hearing.The Singaporean woman was not present in court and was not represented by a lawyer. It is not known whether she is still in the country.

According to the public prosecution, KH, an Emirati, was in a parked car with a group of friends outside the Ramada hotel on the night of June 12. When the woman, SH, came out of the hotel at 12.30am, he allegedly got out of the car and followed her and touched her inappropriately on the backside. She screamed, turned round and told him she was not a prostitute, and he replied: "Well, you are in the wrong place."

According to police, the hotel is respectable, but women out alone at night in the city are sometimes liable to be propositioned. The woman told KH to stay where he was as she was calling the police. "I am the police," KH replied as he walked away. When she tried to stop him getting back into the car, he pushed and kicked her, got in and drove off. However, SH took down the licence number and description of the vehicle and reported him to the police.

KH, who was not represented by a lawyer in court yesterday, told the judge he wanted to present evidence from witnesses as part of his defence. The judge set a new hearing for Aug 7 and ordered KH to be returned to custody. @Email:hbathish@thenational.ae