Newstalk
Newstalk

07.08 25 Oct 2017


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A Scottish man has returned home after an ordeal that began with charges of drinking alcohol and touching another man's hip in Dubai.

Jamie Harron (27) was sentenced to three months in jail on Sunday, having been arrested in July, but an intervention from the United Arab Emirates ruler saw him released.

The electrician had been accused of putting his hand on a man's hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar.

After arriving at Glasgow Airport late on Tuesday, he said he felt "very good" and that he was "very happy to be home".

Mr Harron was asked what he would do first when he got home.

He replied: "Get in a good bed, it's been a total shambles. It's just total shock I feel.

"I get to sleep in my own bed because I've been sleeping on my mate's couch for three and half months.

"I can't believe it's been four months in total."

Jamie Harron, who was sentenced to three months in a Dubai jail for touching a man's hip, with his mother Patricia after arriving at Glasgow Airport | Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

He would not rule out returning to the UAE, despite his experience, saying: "I'm not going back in a hurry, but I would go back later on.

"I think I've been caught up in a bad situation. I didn't see light at the end of the tunnel to be honest."

Mr Harron, who had been working in Afghanistan, had been on a two-day visit to the popular tourist destination when the incident took place at Dubai's Rock Bottom Bar in the summer.

Following his arrest, he lost his job and was told he could spend years in prison.

Mr Harron was also sentenced, in his absence, to 30 days in prison for failing to appear in court, for allegedly making a rude gesture and for drinking alcohol during the same incident.

He was jailed for five days before being released on bail with his passport taken away.

But he was freed after the emirate's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, made a special order for cases against him to be dismissed.

The intervention was described by Radha Stirling, chief executive of campaign group Detained in Dubai, as "a courageous and honourable decision".

She had added: "While it highlights the urgent need for judicial reform in the country, it is also a hopeful sign that the United Arab Emirates' leadership possesses the will and vision to pursue such reforms in the future."

Police had called Mr Harron on Monday telling him that the charges against him had been dropped and he could collect his passport.


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