Couple receive jail terms for having sex in Dubai taxi
Published 14/05/2013 | 05:00
THE family of an Irish expat, who just lost his final appeal for allegedly having sex in the back of a Dubai taxi, has lashed out at the case against him.
Conor McRedmond (28), from Tullamore, Co Offaly, and British businesswoman Rebecca Blake (30) have been ordered to spend two months in prison after losing their appeal in the highest court in the UAE.
They have spent more than a year fighting allegations of having sex in the back of a taxi.
Yesterday, Mr McRedmond's uncle, Patrick McRedmond, hit out at the case against his nephew. "I don't think he did it, I've been following it and I think it's a real disgrace," Mr McRedmond told the Irish Independent.
Mr McRedmond's father, Christy, has previously said that there was no evidence that his son had sex in the car.
Witnesses said recruitment executive Ms Blake stripped off before straddling Mr McRedmond, who had his jeans pulled down.
The pair denied the accusations and have said they were "disappointed" by the outcome, which will see both deported after serving their sentences.
Mr McRedmond, who has been living in Dubai for four years and works as a manager at Kelly Steel engineering firm, said: "I am disappointed after coming this far and fighting these allegations for so long. I feel they are making an example of us."
Ms Blake, who was sacked from her €120,000-a-year post, added: "I am devastated by this result and gutted this has been dragging on for a year. I cannot wait to get home and start my life now but I am very scared about going to prison as I have heard such bad things about what happens behind bars here."
They said they had been financially crippled by the case after spending €53,000 fighting to clear their names.
Ms Blake, who moved to Dubai in September 2011, has not been able to find work since she was sacked and neither can leave the country after having their passports confiscated.
A panel of judges in Dubai's Supreme Court upheld a guilty verdict originally issued in November last year in the criminal court, when the pair were sentenced to three months in prison and a €627 fine for drinking.
The sentence was challenged in the Court of Appeal in February this year, which reduced the sentence by a month and slashed the fine to €417.
But the Supreme Court refused to scrap the charges altogether, despite medical reports proving the couple did not have sex.
They were arrested on May 4 last year after going on a 10-hour drinking binge. The pair had been at a brunch at the Al Murooj Rotana hotel, where they admitted getting drunk on free-flowing wine and vodka in an all-inclusive €41-a-head deal.
Ms Blake and Mr McRedmond do not have to go to jail immediately and can decide when to hand themselves in.
Mr McRedmond said: "We find ourselves in exactly the same position we were in after the original verdict, but thousands poorer.
"Any court in the world would accept the medical evidence above all else.
"I love Dubai and wanted to carry on living here but I am left without a choice," he added.