Dubai back of cab sex duo see jail terms cut

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Two Dubai expats who were sentenced to three months in jail for allegedly having sex in the back of a taxi last year have had their sentence reduced to two months by an appeal court, it was reported on Wednesday.

Rebecca Blake, a 30-year old businesswoman from Croydon, UK and Conor McRedmond, a 29-year old welder from Tullamore in Ireland, had their three month jail sentence reduced to two months at a Dubai court.

The couple pleaded guilty to drinking alcohol and had their fine reduced from around US$800 fine to US$540, while they continued to refute charges they had sex in the back of Dubai taxi in May 2012.

Shaker Al Shammary, the couple’s Al Ain-based lawyer, said he expected them to be freed at the hearing on Tuesday and the couple plan to appeal the case to the Dubai Supreme Court.

"The medical reports which indicate they did not have sex exonerate them completely," Al Shammary told British newspaper The Telegraph. "Reducing the sentence makes no sense. If they were truly guilty, they would have been given three years," he added.

The couple was arrested when they got into a taxi cab after a 10 hour drinking session and the driver pulled over to complain to a policeman they had been having sexual intercourse.

The case is the latest in which Westerners have fallen foul of the United Arab Emirates' decency laws, highlighting cultural differences as the UAE seeks a balance between maintaining its Muslim identity and catering for a vibrant tourism industry.

There have been several cases in recent years of Westerners accused of violating decency laws in Dubai, the most cosmopolitan of the seven-member UAE federation.

In 2008, a British couple was found guilty of engaging in drunken sexual activity out of wedlock and in public on a beach in Dubai. They were sentenced to three months in prison followed by deportation but had their jail terms overturned on appeal.

In 2010, another British couple were sentenced to a month in jail and fined for kissing on the mouth in a restaurant in Dubai.

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Posted by: Hamdi Hiyari

Guys, I was following this case since the start and remember christal clear that the police man upon checking the car found the couple fully naked and also he called his boss who also confirmed the same.
Do not tell me that you need to be fully naked to eat a sandwich? No? They could have patience untill reaching their place, if you do not agree that this act was a community disgust then there must be something wrong.

Posted by: Sam

Dear Lina, The cases that go to court more of then not - and there will always be exceptions that prove the rule - are usually after sufficient provocation. Cab drivers are not illiterate and probably more broad minded than regular office staff. I guess it this kind of view that "in dubai holding hands can get you arrested for sexual activity" that hurts the extrnal perception of Dubai more than all the crime that actually happens in the city.

By Dubai Resident who has been holding hands for 20 years and not arrested once!

Posted by: Teloguy

@Sam, You are going into a slippery zone here. Yes it is true some people have been holding hands for 20 years. And actually I know some guys who have been drinking like cossacks and driving after for maybe 10 years. And many other examples of questionable behavior and not even once had a problem
But the fact is that a number of activities many expats perform almost daily are either illegal or in a gray zone. Together with a "peculiar" approach to law enforcement and a "different" legal system is enough to make me nervous as I am personally more of a risk avers; many people on the other hand do not see any issue

Posted by: Pretty woman

So no Sex but still jailed for the example? If the cab driver lied why he is not named and jailed for what he started? the cost of all justice system and the names of these people in all the press?
This cab driver should be fired by his company as he brings distrust on all Taxis in Dubai. What about having an argument with the Taxi driver that tries to cheat you, is aggressive or smell bad. will he also call the police and put you in Jail?
If simple things like taking a Taxi becomes a danger in Dubai, Tourists will avoid the place.

Posted by: Fairness in the press

Why is it when an expat is charged in a case, the article names and shames the accused. But when a GCC national is accused (such as the recent case of a passenger on Qatar Airways flight) the identity and often even the nationality is protected?

Posted by: procan

Toronto Cabs have cameras in all of them all Buses have Cameras and HD Video on board surly Dubai could afford this tech,just a idea eh! works here.

Posted by: Lina

The danger lies in the interpretration of "Foul" or "sexual" activity.. Medical records have proven they have not have sex so what was it then? a hug? a kiss? this is where the problem lies..In Dubai, most cab drivers have an extreme view of how Islam must be applies and the interpretration of what's "Haram" can cause a threat to expats if they are not extra careful.. sometimes it's better to avoid holding hands.. cause that too can be labelled as "sexual activity" and lands you in jail..

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