Dubai: British tourist held for trespassing, verbal assault released, fined Dh3,000

Ian Mackellar got into a heated argument with neighbours during New Year’s Eve celebrations

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Angel Tesorero

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Published: Wed 7 Feb 2024, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Feb 2024, 11:01 PM

A British tourist, who was charged with trespassing and verbal assault, has been released following an 'expedited ruling' issued by Dubai Public Prosecution's One Day Court.

In a statement to Khaleej Times on Wednesday, the Dubai Media Office (DMO) confirmed the release. The DMO said: "Dubai Public Prosecution today confirmed that an expedited ruling was issued by the emirate's One Day Court in the case involving British national Ian Mackellar."

The DMO further said that a fine was issued against 75-year-old Mackellar. "After consideration of the charges of trespassing and verbal assault, the court imposed a fine of Dh3,000.

"Dubai's One Day Court provides swift and efficient delivery of justice for cases involving certain minor offences,” it added.

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According to reports, Mackellar was visiting his daughter and granddaughter. The case began when the retired economics lecturer allegedly approached his next-door neighbours celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Mackellar requested them to lower the volume of their music and take the party indoors. However, the situation escalated into heated arguments. It ended up with the Briton being charged with trespassing and verbal assault.

Following the ruling by the One Day Court, Carol MacKellar's wife, reportedly said she was "absolutely delighted that her husband would be able to return home.”

What the law says

According to the UAE Public prosecution, “whoever enters into a place that is habituated or that is prepared for being habituated or one of the appendices thereof …. against the will of the concerned party … shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a duration of not more than a year or fined a monetary penalty of not more than Dh5,000.

Defamation is another serious offence punishable by hefty fines and jail time in the UAE. Back in July last year, Dubai Police questioned a woman for allegedly "slandering and defaming an employee amidst a dispute over car rental fees".

"The individual was questioned as per legal procedures and subsequently released pending the resolution of ongoing legal proceedings," Dubai Police said in a statement issued through DMO.

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