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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Stabbing at Christmas party in Dubai earns killer life in jail

The former housemates fought at the party before the defendant stabbed the victim to death

A worker who stabbed his former housemate to death at a Christmas party last year was sentenced to life in prison.

In April, Dubai Criminal Court was told the Sri Lankan defendant, 36, was hosting a Christmas party at his residence in Al Muraqqabat with family and friends.

At 11pm the victim, who previously lived with the defendant, arrived at the defendant's home and two men began arguing.

The defendant’s brother, who attended the party, said “[The victim] used bad language which provoked my brother who went to the kitchen and returned carrying a knife before trying to attack the man but I restrained him.”

He said he thought the incident was over when the victim left, but, minutes later his wife ran in to tell him his brother had stabbed the man outside the apartment.

Police and ambulance services were called to the scene but an officer said the man was dead when they arrived.

“A woman who was sitting next to the dead body told us what happened and gave us the stabber’s name and said that he had fled,” said the 40-year-old policeman.

The defendant turned himself into Al Muraqqabat police station two days later.

“He told us he had previously fought with the victim because the he had broken into his room and stolen cash from him. On the night of the incident when the victim arrived and started insulting him, they engaged in a fight and he stabbed him,” the policeman said.

The defendant told prosecutors during questioning that he hid in Sharjah for two days but decided to turn himself in after he realised there was no way out of the country.

A medical report showed that the victim, whose age was not disclosed in records, died after being stabbed in the heart.

The accused denied a charge of premeditated murder, telling the court that the victim attacked him first and he was acting in self-defence. He admitted a charge of consuming alcohol.

On Wednesday, he was sentenced to life in prison. The sentence can be appealed within 14 days.