Couple jailed for assaulting snoozing technician

Defendants took selfie beside sleeping victim and mocked him, before they assaulted him

Dubai: A couple was sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting a technician, after the woman posed for a selfie beside him while he was snoozing on a sofa at a building’s lobby.

The 54-year-old Swedish technician was fatigued when he rested on a sofa and napped while waiting for his wife, who was in the washroom of the building’s lobby in May 2016.

While snoozing, the Swedish victim suddenly felt a slap on his cheeks and when he opened his eyes, he found some British people mocking him and walking out of the lobby.

The 54-year-old followed them outside the building and asked them to stop because he wanted to call the police.

The Swedish man had a heated argument with the British group of friends, who knew each other, before he was assaulted and thrown down on the floor.

Among the group were some women, who beat up the technician and scratched his face.

Interrogations exposed the involvement of a 21-year-old British woman and her 26-year-old countryman in the assault.

On Monday, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced the British couple in absentia to three months in jail.

Presiding judge Habib Awad convicted the 21-year-old girl and her 26-year-old countryman of assaulting the Swedish and causing him a 1 per cent permanent disability in his nose.

The Britons and two other unidentified suspects assaulted the technician, who sustained bruises and nail-scratches besides a fractured nose.

The technician said the incident happened shortly after he napped on a sofa while waiting for his wife.

“I felt someone slap me. When I opened my eyes, I saw a group of Europeans looking at me and laughing … I followed them outside the building” he said.

He said when he told them to stop, because he wanted to call the police, they ganged up against him.

“They beat me up and some of the women scratched me with their nails,” he said.

“One of the women took my sunglasses and the accused jumped into a taxi and left.

“Suddenly I felt a strong blow on my nose and I couldn’t recognise if someone had headbutted me or punched me. Some with tattoos also grabbed me by my neck,” he testified.

A witness said he spotted the 21-year-old seated beside the sleeping technician, while her friends were taking photos of her.

“I followed the Swedish man to give him his phone that he had forgotten behind him when he chased the group outside. I saw them assaulting him,” the witness testified.

A police lieutenant said the defendants were seen on CCTV taking photos of the sleeping man who later chased them outside.

The ruling in absentia remains subject retrial.

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