Brit sentenced to a month in jail in Dubai for drinking

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  • Jamie Harron was detained for brushing hip of the Jordanian man in a Dubai bar
  • Mr Harron, 27, from Stirling is facing up to three years in jail for public indecency
  • He has now been sentenced to a month in jail and a fine for drinking in public
  • He is due to appear in court over the public indecency charge on October 22

By Sara Malm for MailOnline

Published: 08:27 EDT, 11 October 2017 | Updated: 08:46 EDT, 11 October 2017

A British man arrested for touching the hip of a Jordanian businessman as he walked past him in a bar in Dubai has been sentenced to a month in prison for drinking alcohol.

Jamie Harron, 27, has been stripped of his passport and faces a three-year sentence after being charged with public indecency following the accusations.

Today it emerged that Mr Harron has been convicted for public drunkenness, and sentenced to a month in jail and a fine in advance of his trial later this month.

Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, Scotland, is accused of touching a Jordanian man's hip in Dubai, has been convicted and sentenced for drinking, in advance of his public indecency trial
Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, Scotland, is accused of touching a Jordanian man's hip in Dubai, has been convicted and sentenced for drinking, in advance of his public indecency trial

Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, Scotland, is accused of touching a Jordanian man's hip in Dubai, has been convicted and sentenced for drinking, in advance of his public indecency trial

A spokesman for the prosecution service in Dubai confirmed the sentencing saying: 'On the drinking charge, he has been sentenced to a month in jail, fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) and will be deported.

'His next appearance on the public indecency case is on October 22.'

It is unclear whether Mr Harron, from Stirling, Scotland, is currently behind bars.

The incident took place at the popular Rock Bottom Bar in the Tecom area of Dubai, where Mr Harron and a friend was enjoying a drink.

Mr Harron says he was forced 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'.

Jailed: Mr Harron has been sentenced to a month in jail, and fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) despite the fact that his drinks were consumed in a licensed venue in Dubai
Jailed: Mr Harron has been sentenced to a month in jail, and fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) despite the fact that his drinks were consumed in a licensed venue in Dubai

Jailed: Mr Harron has been sentenced to a month in jail, and fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) despite the fact that his drinks were consumed in a licensed venue in Dubai

While the man showed no sign of agitation as Mr Harron and his friend passed, he later became very animated before the police appeared outside.

When the man went out to meet them, he began animatedly talking with them, pointing at Mr Harron, who got up and went to see what the problem was.

The man, his friends and the police were all 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?.'

The police asked Mr Harron to apologise which he 'gladly did'. But his accused was 'not mollified' and demanded police arrest him.

After days in Al Barsha prison, where he was not allowed to wash himself or brush his teeth, prosecutors told Mr Harron he was charged with drinking alcohol and 'public indecency.' 

When he was released to stay with friends his passport was seized by police.   

Mr Harron has since lost his job and has been stuck in Dubai for the last three months where he has spent over £32,000 in expenses and legal fees trying to resolve the matter.

Devestated: Mr Harron, who has been forced to spend £32,000 in legal fees will be facing a judge in the public indecency case on  October 22
Devestated: Mr Harron, who has been forced to spend £32,000 in legal fees will be facing a judge in the public indecency case on  October 22

Devestated: Mr Harron, who has been forced to spend £32,000 in legal fees will be facing a judge in the public indecency case on  October 22

His alleged 'victim', a Jordanian man named Emad Tabaza, has been identified as the managing director of a global technology giant. 

Mr Tabaza heads up Neuman & Esser, a corporation which produces machinery for other companies within the oil and gas industry, as well for renewable energy and and food firms. 

Emad Tabaza, the managing director of Neuman & Esser, accused Jamie Harron of public indecency
Emad Tabaza, the managing director of Neuman & Esser, accused Jamie Harron of public indecency

Emad Tabaza, the managing director of Neuman & Esser, accused Jamie Harron of public indecency

Mr Harron's lawyers have accused him of 'trying to show off his power in front of his friends' by getting the Brit rrested. 

Mr Harron said: 'I never knew how much stress I could endure until this happened and the waiting game is the worst.'

He denies the charge of public indecency, claiming his only intention was to avoid spilling a drink.

But tourists who consume alcohol at licensed venues in Dubai can still be arrested for having alcohol in their system.

Most visitors are not aware of this fact and a number of British nationals have been caught out by this contradictory application of the law.

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained In Dubai, the British based NGO who is leading the campaign to help Mr Harron, said she has received more than 80 messages an hour offering support since the news broke.

She added: 'Jamie's case is not about knowing the law. He followed the law and has witnesses to support him.

'This is a case of false and spiteful allegations being made against Jamie and the way that Dubai authorities have responded.

'The complainant in this case has no evidence of any crime being committed but Jamie has been stuck in the UAE for more than three months.

'Regarding the alcohol charges, of course, he was drinking, everyone was.

'He was in a licensed bar. Informing tourists of the law does not help, when the entire enforcement system in the UAE needs an overhaul.'

Emad Tabaza has been approached for comment.

Larry White
By Larry White 11/10/2017 08:46:00