The Dubai Public Prosecution has demanded the death penalty for a gardener who allegedly strangled an Emirati man to death with a piece of cloth over previous verbal brawls. The Dubai Court of First Instance heard that the 29-year-old defendant, a Pakistani, had been taking care of the frail and ailing victim.
The incident was reported on June 15 at Al Muraqqabat police station.
The gardener, who is detained, has been charged with premeditated murder and breaching the residency law by flouting sponsorship rules.
A 42-year-old housewife said she found her husband motionless after 6.30pm. “I had just returned after shopping when the defendant met me at the entrance. He told me that my husband had fallen down and hurt himself. He said there was a tie around his neck.”
She rushed to the annex of the villa, where her husband had been staying. “I found him on the floor near the fridge. His face was blue and swollen. I thought it was just another bout of diabetes. I told the accused to call the police, but he claimed he did not know how to call them. I then tried to call all his sons. When the paramedics arrived, they told me my husband was dead,” she said.
By the time the police arrived, the accused had fled.
The victim’s 22-year-old son recounted during investigation how the defendant was allegedly laughing when his father’s body was still on the floor. “I told him to do something to help my father but he just stood there laughing, saying my father was fine. I realised my father had been murdered when I spotted a piece of cloth around his neck.”
The son recalled that his father had repeatedly told him the gardener was abusing him. “He would hold him by the neck and push him. My brother had told me the same.”
The witness told the prosecutor that his father was frail but mentally conscious.
A police officer said they were alerted about the incident at a villa in Hor Al Anz. “We arrested the worker around 9.30pm on June 16 outside a grocery store in the same area. He claimed that the victim’s son had brought him to take care of his elderly and ailing father for a Dh2,000 salary. But that was later reduced to just Dh600. He also claimed that the victim had been mistreating him – kicking and insulting and beating him.”
The accused claimed to the police that the victim had beaten him first on that day. A forensic doctor said the victim’s death was caused by strangulation.
The trial has been adjourned to November 15.