Stunned man given month in Dubai jail...


Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

A Cam­bus­bar­ron man was this week in shock after he was handed a one-month prison sen­tence in Dubai and could face a fur­ther three years be­hind bars.

Jamie Har­ron was brought be­fore the courts on charges aris­ing from his time in the Mid­dle East hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

The 27-year-old elec­tri­cian de­nies mak­ing a rude ges­ture in traf­fic and in­de­cent be­hav­iour in public, but has ad­mit­ted drink­ing al­co­hol.

He could face up to three years in a Dubai jail if he is found guilty of the charge al­leg­ing he in­de­cently touched a busi­ness man in a crowded bar.

But this week he was sen­tenced to 30 days for mak­ing a ges­ture with his fin­ger.

Mr Har­ron has been trapped in the United Arab Emi­rates since July after he had his pass­port con­fis­cated pend­ing the court ver­dict.

He claims he in­ad­ver­tently touched the hip of a manag­ing direc­tor of a global tech­nol­ogy gi­ant, Emad Tabaza to avoid the pair bump­ing in to each other and spilling their drinks but de­nies in­de­cency at the Rock Bot­tom Bar in Dubai.

Mr Har­ron, who had been on a two­day stay in Dubai fol­low­ing a spell work­ing in Afghanistan, vowed to fight the prison term rul­ing.

“My lawyers put in an ob­jec­tion to my 30-day prison sen­tence, is­sued (in my ab­sence),” he added. “I hope it can be sorted out, but I didn’t think it would go on for this long.

“I’ve lost my job, I’m in debt now, I may be go­ing to prison – and all this for a two-day stop over. It’s just un­be­liev­able. I’m still in shock that it’s ac­tu­ally hap­pened.”

Mr Har­ron was also frus­trated by the way Dubai pros­e­cu­tors had han­dled the case.

“They have sep­a­rated the charges and it means I could be here longer,” he added. “Ap­par­ently, I was sen­tenced for rais­ing my fin­ger at the man but I did not do that. I wouldn’t do that.”

Al­though Mr Har­ron has been sen­tenced, he is not cur­rently in prison. He has also been or­dered to pay a fine of 2,000 dirham – around £400 – and also faces de­por­ta­tion.

In Dubai, adult non-Mus­lims are al­lowed to con­sume al­co­hol in li­censed bars and ho­tels or at home with the pos­ses­sion of an al­co­hol li­cence. But it is a pun­ish­able of­fence to drink or to be un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol in a public place.

Mr Har­ron is to re­turn to court on Oc­to­ber 22 in at least one of the cases but the process and par­tic­u­lars has at­tracted con­fu­sion.

He has been sup­ported through his or­deal by the cam­paign group, De­tained in Dubai, who help peo­ple who have be­come vic­tims of in­jus­tice in the United Arab Emi­rates.

For­eign of­fice staff are “pro­vid­ing con­sular as­sis­tance”.

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

Stop-over Jamie Har­ron was in Dubai for two days

Shocked Cam­bus­bar­ron man, Jamie Har­ron, right, faces three years in a Dubai prison for touch­ing a man’s hip in a bar

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