Man jailed 10 years for friend’s murder

Dubai: A man who battered his friend with a liquor bottle before pinning him face down into the sand following a drinking binge, causing his death, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The unemployed Nepalese man, L.T., had a heated argument with his Indian friend, R.S., before he set upon the latter who cursed L.T.’s mother and sister while in a heavily inebriated state.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted L.T. of the premeditated murder of R.S. in September 2014 despite his not guilty plea.

When asked in court about the incident, the defendant said: “We drank alcohol and, after he got heavily drunk, he started cursing my mother and father and cursed me as well. We had a heated argument that developed into a fight. He beat me and I hit him back. I was too drunk to remember what happened then. I didn’t intend to kill him.”

Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi said while giving his verdict on Wednesday that the convict will be deported after serving his jail term.

Prosecutors said L.T. used the bottle to inflict repeated blows to the head of R.S. knocking him to the ground. Then he sat on his head and pinned the victim face-down into the sand until he died.

A police lieutenant said Dubai Police’s Operation Room received a call on a Friday morning about a body found in the Al Qouz area.

“The victim’s body was found between two heavy vehicles and he had blood all over his mouth and clothes. Eyewitnesses who live in the neighbourhood said the defendant and the victim were homeless and constantly seen drinking together in that area and always slept between or near trucks. Later, L.T. was arrested in the same area seated beside a huge truck on the sand. Police took him in for questioning, during which he claimed that he met R.S. 15 days before the incident happened.

“L.T. said they used to drink together. On the day of the incident, according to the defendant’s statement, R.S. woke him up at 7am and they consumed a bottle of liquor. He claimed that around noon they had another bottle. The defendant alleged that the victim cursed his mother and sister when he got heavily drunk and stopped him from drinking. L.T. said they fought and he repeatedly beat and kicked him and battered him with the bottle… he also stuffed his face in the sand. Yet he alleged that when R.S. started breathing heavily, he stopped assaulting him and tried to save him. He claimed that he purchased a lemon and bottle of water from a nearby grocery store and tried to help R.S., but failed to do so. Then he absconded from the area,” said the lieutenant.

A forensic examiner testified that the victim died because of suffocation.

The primary judgement remains subject to appeal within 15 days.