Prosecutors lose appeal against insane murder suspect

Appeal court clears man who smashed victim’s skull with a pan and knifed him for lack of criminal liability

Dubai: Prosecutors have lost their appeal against a carpenter who was found criminally unaccountable for battering his roommate’s skull with a pan and stabbing him to death.

In March, the Dubai Court of First Instance acquitted the 56-year-old Indian carpenter of premeditatedly murdering his roommate and admitted him to a psychological centre for rehabilitation.

The defendant claimed that he was not aware of his actions when he woke up suddenly one evening, pounded his roommate’s head several times and then knifed him to death in his bed in December 2016.

Following a medical examination by a special panel of psychiatrists that assessed the man’s sanity, the primary court cleared the suspect on grounds of lack of criminal liability.

Prosecutors appealed the primary judgement before the Dubai Appeal Court and sought to have his acquittal overturned.

Presiding judge Saeed Salem Bin Sarm rejected prosecutors’ appeal and upheld the suspect’s acquittal.

According to the appellate ruling, the murder weapon [knife] will be confiscated.

The man was found to be unaware of his actions at the time when the incident happened.

The defendant said he didn’t intend to kill the victim whom he accused of poisoning his food several times before the murder.

Medical reports said the victim’s death was instant, his face was disfigured and the skull and facial bones were completely fractured due to the severity of the assault.

The carpenter was taken to a hospital a few hours after the attack and was treated for self-inflicted knife wounds in his belly.

The incident happened in a labour accommodation in Al Qouz.

The carpenter battered the victim with a pan repeatedly on his head when he was sleeping and stabbed him twice.

The defendant renewed his not guilty plea before the Appeal Court and contended that he did not know why he had pounded the victim on his skull and stabbed him with a knife.

“I was asleep and woke up suddenly … I walked towards him and stabbed him but I did not intend to kill him. There was hostility between us. He and his friends previously tried to poison my meals several times,” he argued.

A police lieutenant said the victim’s face was beyond recognition due to the brutality of the attack.

“The carpenter had been brought to hospital to treat for some knife wounds that he inflicted on himself in a suicide bid a few hours after the crime. During questioning, he said he killed the victim who used to ridicule him and film him while sleeping and circulate the photos among his friends. The suspect admitted that he had tried to kill himself with a knife that he had purchased that day from a nearby supermarket,” the lieutenant said.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court.

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