British man faces three years in jail after accidentally touching man in Dubai
There's plenty of reasons to avoid these bar scuffles and nightclub arguments, but a common one that crops up when things start getting heated between a few drunken patrons is the possibility of getting chucked out of the place by the bouncer - and if you're really unlucky, catching the attention of the police.
But all that goes for a full out argument or threats of some sort, whereas the usual hustle and bustle of drunkards on a night out creates a certain amount of spilled drinks and bumps into strangers that we all accept as an unavoidable part of the evening. Yet even these innocuous moments were far beyond the innocent accident that got this British tourist in trouble with the authorities in Dubai.
Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency after accidentally touching a man on his hip recently, and is now potentially facing three years in prison. As reported by the campaign group Detained in Dubai, the 27-year-old has since lost his job and been unable to fly home because his passport has been taken away from him until the court proceedings are final.
The incident began when Jamie stopped off in Dubai for a two-day trip while on his way to a job in Afghanistan. He had some drinks with friends at the Rock Bottom Bar, a popular spot in the city, and at one point had to walk through a crowd of people with a drink in hand. In an effort to not spill his drink, he held his hand in front of him, accidentally touching a man's hip. 20 minutes later, the police arrived and Jamie was arrested.
"I am really stunned that it has gone that far," told Metro. He has now spent more than £30,000 in expenses and legal fees after being stuck there for three months. Prosecutors have said he will be charged with drinking alcohol and "public indecency", the latter of which Jamie denies.
"I have witnesses who are willing to present themselves in court, even the bouncer at the bar."
"I cannot believe I am facing these allegations when I followed the laws in their entirety."
"Now it is possible that I will be arrested on Sunday for failing to appear at a court hearing that neither I, nor my lawyer, were advised of."
"It is quite outrageous that he has been held in the country for so long already," Radha Stirling, chief executive of Detained in Dubai, explained, "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"
"I have spoken to Jamie today who is under immense pressure and stress."
"He was expecting to appear in court this 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."
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman released a statement that they had been in contact with Jamie back in July, and that they were providing "consular assistance", but there has been no other news as of yet.