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Fri 22 Aug 2008 10:00 AM

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Driver denies road rage death charges

Court case adjourned into horrific death of British expat while she was out celebrating birthday.

An Emirati businessman has denied charges relating to the death of a British expat in an alleged road rage attack.

Katherine Wood died on May 30 after she was hit by his Hummer vehicle while out celebrating her birthday in Garhoud. A court heard on Thursday that the driver then reversed his vehicle over her as she lay dying.

Her husband and a friend were also injured during the incident, UAE daily The National reported on Friday.

Eyewitnesses in court described the hit and run as “extreme road rage”.

During his first court appearance, the defendant, identified only as AA, denied the premeditated murder of Mrs Wood, the attempted murder of her husband and damaging public and private property.

The court heard Mrs Wood, who had lived in Dubai for two years, had enjoyed a birthday dinner at the Meridien Hotel before heading into the Irish Village.

Mrs Wood's group arrived at the Aviation Club in a taxi, the vehicle partially blocked the service road behind them.

The court heard that AA is alleged to have blown the horn and repeatedly flashed the vehicle’s full beam lights at the taxi. He then hurled abuse at Mrs Wood’s husband and two friends, swore repeatedly at the group and then the Hummer mounted the pavement and drove into the two men.

The men had been knocked to both sides of the road as AA’s car hit Mrs Wood. She was just turning away from the taxi when the Hummer struck her, said a public prosecutor.

According to public prosecution documents, Mrs Wood died in an ambulance en route to Rashid Hospital.

The case was adjourned until September 4.

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Paul 11 years ago

Hope they behead him. He obviously thought that his life was worth more than those people. If this had been a Briton who did this to an Emirati woman, all hell would have broken loose. Let's hope this poor excuse for a human being feels the full taste of justice. But I expect he'll probably get just 3 months in jail and a 6 month driving ban. Meanwhile other people who've committed essentially victimless crimes are facing up to 6 years in jail.

Daz 11 years ago

It’s disgraceful that this young Emirati has so little respect for anything, including the life of another Human Being. The death of an innocent woman over blocked access to a service road, because AA couldn’t wait for 1 minute. Appalling.

John Doe 11 years ago

Correction over there Paul, if this would have been any other nationality instead of an Arab, things would have been much worse! Although this still begs the question, why the hell do ppl still want to come and live here when there's so much not right about this 'desert paradise'?!?!

Kenneth 11 years ago

This is a warning sign to the authorities that the spoiled generation of young emaratis are not being educated properly by their parents, the schools and the environment they live in. The attitude of "this is my country so I can kill you if I want to" is a growing concern among this decadent generation who doesn't need to work for a living, doesn't need to study to get a degree and who all expect to become CEOs straight out of school. The lack of respect for human life (it was already bad with animal life) that lead to this murder is something that must be fixed immediately within the emarati society. This young man will have to be made an example in the eyes of justice for the greater good.

motivated 11 years ago

For a country that has spouted so much in the press recently about corporate transparency and swift justice - does the UAE justice system stand up to all crimes of society? Will they be swift? Will they consider no royal family member, nor any Emiratee for that matter, is above the law and above fair and due justice? We shall see. The world shall see. Is the UAE genuinely part of the modern world - or is it still prepared to perpetuate the thought that any ex-pat is nothing more than a dispensable slave to spoilt, rude, obnoxious, criminally behaving, pieces of inhumane driven flesh like this 22 year old item of disgust? Emiratee youth need to be taught a lesson - they need to be shown by their peers, their local peers, that their driving habits, their arrogance, their general disdain to those who are the ones building their future - IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. It is time to make an example. The UAE justice system needs to show courage and determination.

Hani Zaitoun 11 years ago

This story coincides with another story published last week by Arabian Business Week about a car accident that also resulted in the death of a British, and the young UAE national was only jailed for 2 months. This story again reinforces the differences in applying the law and juridical procedures when it comes to one nationality versus the other. Where all this anger is coming from?

Sparky 11 years ago

This person should be jailed for good. Mrs Woods had alighted from the taxi on the correct side. His impatience destroyed a family leaving a young son and father behind to pick up the pieces. The defendant is reported to have FLED the scene only to be apprehended 3 days later. Why? In any other country in the world this is highly punishable and he would not even get bail, this in addition to his driving license revoked. This incident by all accounts borders on premeditation, not just road rage.

John 11 years ago

Please let's not turn this into a racial issue. Road rage is an international phenomenon, from shooting people over a parking space to bludgeoning over a bad overtaking. We are not in full possession of the facts, however it would appear that Mr. AA's behaviour is unacceptable and irrational and I have no doubt that the Dubai courts will mete out the justice he deserves within the proper legal processes. Let us not be ruled by our own prejudices as surely Mr. AA was.

Jostein Svendsen 11 years ago

After arriving in Dubai, 2 years ago, I have been appalled by the bad driving displayed by the locals. They drive like they own the road, with no respect for road rules or speed limits. Especially the young generation are responsible for a much higher percentage of road deaths than their actual percentage of the population is. But it is no wonder - when nobody here is taught respect for road rules, when even the police cars (driven by locals) speed between speed cameras and slow down to avoid being flashed. I applaud the government for cracking down on corruption, drugs and drink driving. But kow - it is about time that they crack down on maybe the biggest killer of them all - reckless driving by the locals!!! How many more people will have to be killed or even murdered before they take action?

Ali 11 years ago

I feel sorry for Wood’s family. It is tragic. AA deserves the worst punishment there is, however we need to understand that this is a crime committed by a person. I understand how emotional it can be, but it is unfair to generalize. We, Emiraties, do our best to make all expats feel welcome, and how ever some individuals act it doesn’t reflect all emiraties. Again, my deepest sympathies to the family.