Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Jamie Harron, 27, from Scotland, sentenced to three months in jail for touching a man at a bar has been pardoned by the Ruler of Dubai and will be allowed to return home.
Jamie Harron, 27, from Scotland, was arrested after a German-Jordanian expatriate called police alleging the man had patted his behind, then flashed his middle finger, the court heard.
The incident took placed at a bar in Barsha Heights on July 15.
On Sunday he was convicted by Dubai Criminal Court but on Monday Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, issued a pardon.
He will have his passport returned and will be able to leave Dubai.
“We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed for his personal intervention in this case,” his UK-based legal representative, Radha Stirling, said in a statement.
The case has attracted widespread international media coverage and reports say Harron was on a two-day stopover in Dubai on his way back to Afghanistan, where he worked as an electrician.
A 27-year-old mechanical engineer, who is a witness and friend of Harron, told prosecutors that the Scotsman did not mean to offend the man, but confirmed that he did touch him.
“He was passing near the other man and accidentally touched his arm then immediately apologised and he patted him on his behind in a gesture that meant he was sorry,” said the witness.
EARLIER: Scot Gets 3 Months Prison For Touching Another Man in Dubai Bar – Scottish electrician, Jamie Harron will spend three months in jail, after being convicted by a court on Sunday, for touching a man at a bar in Dubai. The 27-year-old Scottish tourist was arrested after a German man of Jordanian descent complained that he touched him at a bar in Barsha Heights district, Dubai on July 15.
Jamie Harron, was arrested after the German expat of Jordanian descent, called police alleging the man had patted his behind, then flashed his middle finger, the court heard.
The victim told Dubai Criminal Court that when he questioned Harron about touching his behind, the accused flashed his middle finger.
“I didn’t say anything nor did I scream or insult him. I just called police, who arrested him,” said the 49-year-old manager, who had not met the accused before.
Harron denied a charge of sexual assault earlier this month. Jamie Harron will serve three months in jail after being convicted by a court on Sunday.
EARLIER: Scot Faces 3 Yr Jail For Touching Another Man in Dubai Bar – A 27-year-old Scottish man, Jamie Harron, is facing a possible three-year jail term after he touched another man on the hip in a Dubai bar, British media reported on Saturday (Oct 7). Mr Jamie Harron, from the city of Stirling in central Scotland, was arrested for public indecency on July 15 and held for five days in Al Barsha prison before being released on bail.
Mr Jamie Harron’s representatives said that he was trying to prevent his drink from spilling at the crowded Rock Bottom Bar when he put his hand on the man “to avoid impact”.
Half an hour later, the police arrived at the scene and arrested Jamie Harron. Along with public indecency, Mr Harron was also charged with drinking alcohol.
Jamie Harron has been stuck in the United Arab Emirates since as authorities had confiscated his passport. He has also incurred more than £30,000 (S$53,600) in living expenses and legal fees.
Ms Radha Stirling, chief executive of campaign group Detained in Dubai, said it was “quite outrageous” that Mr Jamie Harron was being held for so long.
“I have spoken to Jamie, who is under immense pressure and stress,” said Ms Stirling. “He was expecting to appear in court on Sunday, but the court moved the date without telling him or his lawyer. This led to a sentence of 30 days’ imprisonment for failing to present himself at the hearing.
“This is another example of how vulnerable tourists are to arrest and detention in Dubai and at how drawn-out and disorganised legal proceedings are,” she added.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance.”