By Andy Sambidge
Defendant denies premeditated murder charge after death of British woman in Dubai.
A young Emirati man accused of premeditated murder after running over a British woman in his Hummer vehicle in May is due to be sentenced on Thursday.
The defendant could face the death penalty or life in prison if he is convicted, although his defence team has asked the court to reduce the charge to one of accidental death.
Omair Abdullah Eissa Thani Al Thani is charged in connection with the death of Katherine Wood on May 30.
Wood died after allegedly being run over by Al Thani’s white Hummer vehicle while out celebrating her birthday in Dubai’s Garhoud area.
Al Thani, aged 22, has been charged with the premeditated murder of Wood, the attempted murder of her husband and damaging public and private property.
His lawyer asked the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance to reduce the charge against his client to accidental death. He also urged the court to take account of the defendant’s youth.
The trial previously heard witness statements alleging the accused drove at Wood, her husband and their two friends as they left a taxi, before reversing his vehicle over Wood, causing fatal injuries.
The accused has denied all charges and defense continued to plead not guilty, claiming the incident was “unintentional”.
A witness to the accident had given evidence during the court session, saying he saw the Hummer hit the taxi passengers, and then reverse back over Mrs Wood.
The defence claimed his client’s intention was only to “scare” the victim and her group, and that he did not intend to kill anyone.
Just because the accused is young i dont think his sentence should be reduced. Actulally if found guilty these kind of offenders should be given the highest possible sentence so that others will not commit such crimes like this in the future.
If he is found guilty of murder, I'd like to be considered as one of the (British) expats who feel the death penalty is inappropriate. If he has committed this terrible crime then he must pay a price but I do not agree that he should pay with his life.
He should be judged according tothe Law of the Land and punished accordingly, irrespective of his youth. He may be young, but old enough to drive a Hummer.