x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Postmortem finds that dead tourist suffocated

Lee Bradley Brown's death ruled accidental by pathologists.

DUBAI // A British tourist who died in police custody in Dubai on Tuesday suffocated on his own vomit, a postmortem examination has found.

The examination also found traces of hashish in his blood, the Dubai Attorney General, Essam Issa al Humaidan, said yesterday.

Lee Bradley Brown, 39, was arrested on April 6 at the Burj Al Arab after assaulting an Asian hotel worker by pulling her hair and trying to throw her from a sixth-floor balcony overlooking the lobby, Mr al Humaidan said. He was restrained by hotel workers and police were called.

Brown was arrested on charges of assault leading to incapacitation, issuing verbal threats and swearing, the prosecution records showed.

Police say his case was referred to public prosecutors, who met him on April 8. Brown was denied bail because of the severity of the charges.

He was held at Bur Dubai Police Station, where he was visited by consular officials on April 7.

“We were aware that he had been arrested and he was visited by UK consular officials in Dubai last week,” a spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said.

At the time of the visit, Brown was said to be in good health.

A police official said Brown had been vomiting on both the day of his death and the day before, but had not complained or asked for medical assistance.

British newspapers yesterday reported claims by the dead man’s sister in England that another prisoner had telephoned her alleging that Brown had been severely beaten by police.

The prisoner said he found the sister’s phone number on a copy of the dead man’s passport left behind in the cell.

The British Embassy said yesterday they were in contact with Brown’s family and were providing consular assistance.

A spokesman for the embassy said: “The Consul General has spoken directly to the Dubai Police at the highest level a number of times to stress the importance of a full investigation. The police have assured us that they are investigating and we are remaining in close touch with them.”

The Dubai Attorney General said an investigation had begun as soon as the operations room was informed of the death.

The Jumeirah Group, which owns the Burj Al Arab, said: “We are aware of this issue and understand it is being handled by the relevant authorities; we therefore have no further comment. For privacy reasons, it is our policy not to disclose any details or information about guests who stay in our hotels or about our colleagues who work in them.”


With reporting by Salam al Amir and David Sapsted