Tuesday 24 April 2018

Couple facing taxi sex charges in Dubai admit "drinking all day"

Tahira Yaqoob

THE couple facing three years in jail for allegedly having sex in the back of a Dubai taxi today denied the charges in court.

High-flying executive Rebecca Blake and Irish welder Conor McRedmond appeared before a judge to face charges of having consensual sex - a crime punishable by jail in the Islamic United Arab Emirates - indecency and drinking alcohol.

They pleaded not guilty to the two sex charges but admitted they had been drinking all day before they were arrested.

Blake, 29, who wore an Islamic hijab at her last court appearance but attended today with her head uncovered, was summonsed to stand before the judges' bench at Dubai Criminal Court with McRedmond, 28, instead of standing in the defendants' dock.

Judge Abdulaziz Mohammad Al Saadni said via a court translator: "You are charged with a breach of honour by carrying out a consensual illegal act and that in a taxi you took off your clothes on Sheikh Zayed road and engaged in an indecent act."

The pair shook their heads when the two charges - the first relating to having consensual sex and the second to stripping off in public - were read out in court.

When the translator read out a third charge relating to consumption of alcohol, Blake, who pleaded guilty, said: "I had been drinking all day."

Mr McRedmond, of Tullamore, Co Offaly, added: "I had been drinking all day too."

Their lawyer, Shaker Al Shammary, asked to present their defence but the judge, who was standing in as a substitute, adjourned the case to give them a chance of a fair trial before a permanent judge.

Ms Blake, from Dorking in Surrey, England, and Mr McRedmond are facing a lengthy prison sentence if they are found guilty.

The pair were arrested on May 4 after a 10-hour drinking binge when a taxi driver pulled over and called on a patrolling policeman.

According to the public prosecution papers: "The Asian driver said he picked up the couple from the Irish Village [bar] and saw them touching and kissing each other on the back seat of the cab. He was looking at them in the mirror and decided to inform police."

Both the taxi driver and policeman are expected to give evidence

The case was adjourned until November 1.

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