Complaint dropped against Briton facing Dubai jail term for touching man's hip

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12 October 2017 7:15PM

A Briton facing a three-year jail sentence in Dubai after touching a man's hip in a bar is hoping he may be home soon after his accuser dropped the complaint against him.

Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency after putting a hand on the man to avoid spilling a drink as he moved through a crowded bar, campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD) said.

The 27-year-old electrician from Stirling now faces up to three years in jail and has lost his job following the incident.

The businessman who made the complaint is understood to have dropped the complaint after realising what punishment Mr Harron is facing.

In a statement released to media, his employer Neumann & Esser said: "With a certain distance from the incident and the punishment to be expected for the suspect, our employee decided to withdraw the complaint despite the harassment having been confirmed by several witnesses.

"However, according to the typical laws for the country, this does not automatically result in the termination of the proceedings as, for example, very likely in England or Germany."

Mr Harron has already been sentenced in absentia to 30 days in prison for making a rude gesture and drinking alcohol.

According to a DiD spokesman, he admitted drinking alcohol at the Rock Bottom Bar party spot after being arrested in July but denied making a rude gesture.

His lawyers have submitted an appeal.

In relation to the alleged public indecency charge, Mr Harron is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others.

He then ''touched a man on his hip to avoid impact''.

Police arrived at the scene ''20 to 30'' minutes later and arrested Mr Harron, according to his representatives.

He was then said to have been charged with public indecency, locked up for five days in Al Barsha prison, then released after bail with his passport confiscated.

The next court hearing is set for later this month.

Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, said: "Jamie is quite hopeful he will get back now but the hearing is not set till October 22.

"If they drop the charges now it's fine but we will not hear back till then.

"The case has prompted 80 messages an hour of support and has even prompted calls for a boycott of the UAE over its treatment of expats and tourists."

Mr Harron had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in Dubai when the incident happened.

He has since lost his job and has spent more than £30,000 in expenses and legal fees, having already been stuck there for three months.

Speaking on Wednesday, he said: "I hope that it can be sorted out but I already didn't think it would have went on for so many months in the first place.

"I've lost my job, I'm in debt now, I may be going to prison and all this for a two-day stopover.

''It's just unbelievable. I'm still in shock that it's actually happened.''