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Dubai Brit jailed over drink faces 3 years for ‘hip touch’

Dubai ordeal: Jamie Harron PIC: CSNEWS

A BRITON has been jailed for a month for drinking alcohol – but still faces up to three more years in prison for accidentally touching a man’s hip so he did not bump him and spill drinks.

Jamie Harron, 27, was sentenced in Dubai in advance of his trial for alleged ‘public indecency’. He intends to appeal the ruling.

An official said: ‘On the drinking charge, he has been sentenced to a month in jail, fined 2,000 dirhams (£412) and will be deported. His next appearance on the public indecency case is on October 22.’

Mr Harron, an electrician from Stirling, admits he placed his hand on a man’s hip in a bar so they did not bump and spill their drinks, apparently sparking a ‘cultural misunderstanding’.

He was kept in a cell for five days after the July 15 incident before being released on bail without his passport. He lost his job and has spent more than £32,000 trying to resolve the matter. His alleged victim Emad Tabaza, a Jordanian, has not commented. He is the boss of an oil and gas technology giant.

Tourists who drink in licensed venues in the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim country, can still be arrested for having alcohol in their system. Radha Stirling, of campaign group Detained In Dubai, said the indecency allegations were ‘false and spiteful’.

She added: ‘Regarding the alcohol charges, of course he was drinking, everyone was. The entire enforcement system in the UAE needs an overhaul.’ The case has prompted 80 messages an hour of support, she said.