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Wed 20 Aug 2008 03:20 AM

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Widow's fury after Dubai death crash horror

British family vows to take civil action against Emirati responsible for British tourist's death.

A British family is pursuing a civil court action against a teenager driver responsible for the death of a tourist on holiday in Dubai.

The widow of retired civil engineer David Bell said her family had been devastated by the death crash in February and vowed to take further action.

Bell was killed in an horrific road accident during a trip of a lifetime to Dubai after a car being driven by Saif Mohammed Obeid Al Ka'Abi ploughed into the hire car Mr Bell was travelling in.

The Emiratil was overtaking another driver in a race through the desert, an inquest in England heard on Monday.

He was jailed for two months and fined 200,000 dirhams in a Dubai court.

The effects of his actions in February have caused 'untold devastation for the whole family', said Mrs Dale Bell after the inquest.

Mr Bell was the front seat passenger in the hire car being driven by his son Matthew, 32, an employee for power generator company Aggreko.

In the back seat were Mr Bell's wife Dale, 62, and daughter-in-law Lucy.

The couple were visiting the Middle East to celebrate his 75th birthday with family.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

After the inquest, Mrs Bell said that the family were pursuing civil action against the driver.

She said: "It is unbelievable that he got just two months in prison for what he did. His actions have ripped apart my whole family. He took away David, I am still unable to walk without crutches, my son has permanent disability and my daughter-in-law was left with internal injuries."

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BV 12 years ago

I have to say this is indeed appalling. Anyone coming in from overseas is put under severe scrutiny, and if they are by some fluke, or misfortune found to have 0.003 grams of weed stuck to the underside of their shoe (because that is the amount and way that everyone smuggles drugs), they get a 4 year jail sentence and extradition... yet a local kills a visitor by seriously irresponsible driving and only gets 2 months after which he will go out and buy another way-to-fast-car-for-his-common-sense and will be out endangering people again... Seriously... this kid should get a much longer jail sentence, have to do community service (maybe he should try flipping burgers) and have his licence withdrawn till he can afford to pay for it, the fine, and a new car by, and only by, his wages earned flipping burgers. These kids need to be taught some morals, common sense, and responsibility; rather than being lavished with money, cars, and everything else. If they ever want to be part of the real world, they are going to have to start acting (and learning) like it. And of course, my sincere condolences to the Bell family.

Diana 12 years ago

This is absolutely disgusting that Emirati's get away with such lenient punishments, they should be held accountable for their actions. But of course this won't ever happen as this part of the world live by their own rules which is ultimately going to be their destruction. Karma....what goes around comes around.

Hani Zaitoun 12 years ago

Although I do not know the details of the accident, and what happened, it is ironic they put you in jail for 6 month for consuming alcohol (mind you with out an accident) on the other hand, someone dies, other disabled, and a family devastated, and only 2 months imprisonment.

yvonne Dsouza 12 years ago

How could the authorities only give him two months of imprisonment. the incident caused is like an unintentional murder. There should have been a mimimum of two - three years, license confiscated, and a fine. then this will be a lesson to all the others.

Mrs Goodwill 12 years ago

I am sick an tired of crazy drivers on the road and it is about time that serious action is taken against those who speed and cause harm to themselves and others. It makes living in Dubai very scary ... 2 months jail term is not enough.

Jack Smith 12 years ago

Of course he only got 2 months. He's an Emirati! Had he been an Indian of course he'd have got a lot longer. Typical Dubai!

A Reader 12 years ago

It is really sad that the punishment rendered is so basic against such an homicide. This definitely does not send the correct message. Or the judgment is dependent on the nationality and not the "crime". My understanding with Dubai is that it is a very progressive city and they provide a very favorable environment to every resident. Through this, they can definitely set an example that expats living / visiting will have the necessary security and will get the justice. I recently read about death penalty against drug for a royal family member in Kuwait. I am not an advocate of capital punishment, but it is commendable how the court handed an unbiased judgment.

michael 12 years ago

my condolences to the Bell family , of course they have ever right to be angry, only 2 months for killing an innocent man, what would have been the sentence had it been the other way round, they would have thrown away the key, a man gets four years for having cannabis on his shoes, he could have stepped on that by accident, and he did not hurt anybody, its time the UAE used the same yardstick for all.

Saeed Ali 12 years ago

What happened is extremely sad, and the punishment may have been tougher. But its fact that throughout the world, natives of a place will get lesser punishment than a foreigner. That's the way it works, so no point criticizing a lenient verdict when such stuff happens in all countries. Also, many times slow drivers block other drivers which is why they get hit from behind. The solution is to to restrict slow drivers to first or 2nd lane so that proper drivers can drive at a normal speed in the fast lanes.

J K Motwani 12 years ago

Everything is possible in Dubai - EVERYTHING....