An electrician from the UK is facing up to three years in a Dubai jail after brushing an Arab man on the hip with his hand.
Jamie Harron had made light contact with a Jordanian man to avoid spilling his drink while moving through the crowded Rock Bottom Bar on a night out.
Harron was arrested for public indecency and was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he missed his hearing due to a mix up over dates.
Now Harron faces being arrested and jailed for up to 3 years when he turns up to his rescheduled hearing on Sunday.
His solicitor working with NGO Detained in Dubai said that Harron was now ‘under immense pressure and stress’.
It comes just days after UK plasterer Billy Barclay was released after being held for trying to swap a £20 note, which he did not know was forged, at a bureau de change in Dubai.
On the night of the incident, Harron had been having a drink at the with friends at a popular venue for young people in the Tecom area of Dubai.
Harron and a friend had just bought their first drink when they noticed a Jordanian man who was looking over at them from the edge of the dance floor in a rather ‘confrontational’ manner.
They then decided to move to avoid any aggravation, but Harron had to walk past the man, and as he passed, he placed his hand on the right-hand side of the top of the man’s hip to ensure that when passing they didn’t bump and spill drinks ‘in a move familiar to most UK patrons of crowded pubs’.
Harron said that there was no intention to upset the man in any way and the man said nothing and didn’t show any reaction.
Once Harron and his friend had sat at a new table, they looked over to see that the man was now shouting and swinging his arms around, ‘clearly agitated’. Harron asked his friend if he thought the man might be shouting at them.
Unsure the British pair moved to another table, even further away.
After the incident was seemingly over, Harron and his friend reportedly relaxed for another 20-30 minutes chatting when suddenly police appeared outside.
The man went out to meet them, and he began animatedly talking with them, pointing at Harron, who got up and went to see what the problem was.
The man, his friends as well as the police were all apparently speaking in Arabic, the accuser occasionally shouting in English, ‘He’s been drinking, and he touched me improperly, I will get you deported, do you know who I am?’
Police asked Harron to apologize which he ‘gladly did’ but his accused was ‘not mollified’ and demanded that Police arrest him.
After days in Al Barsha prison prosecutors told Harron he was charged with drinking alcohol and ‘public indecency.’
When he was released to stay with friends his passport was taken by police. He reportedly failed to turn up to his hearing after the court moved the date without telling him or his lawyer which means he is now facing a further 30 days’ detention.
Harron says his entire savings are gone – being spent on legal fees, his company has sacked him, and when his case is eventually heard he faces further jail time as well as a hefty fine.
Detained in Dubai said that Harron had been to Dubai many times on holiday and ‘knows and respects’ the country’s laws.
Detained in Dubai said: ‘Jamie denies this latter charge vehemently, restating that his only intention was to avoid spilling a drink. Tourists who consume alcohol at licensed venues can still be arrested for having alcohol in their system. Most tourists are not aware of this fact. A number of British nationals have been caught out by this contradictory application of the law. When Jamie was in his prison cell the night of the arrest, his friend accompanied him to the police station. The accuser and his friends were also there. The accuser’s friends were telling him to just drop the matter, and that he had taken it too far. Jamie’s friend was sitting next to them all and heard the whole discussion. Jamie’s friend is acting as his witness, as is the sympathetic security worker of the pub where the incident happened. The bouncer saw the whole incident and confirms Jamie’s version of events.’
‘Both Jamie and his family are anxious for him to be back home in Stirling as soon as possible.’