Man found guilty of Arabian Ranches double murder loses appeal against death sentence

Hiren and Vidhi Adhiya were killed by an intruder as they slept at their home in 2020

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A man convicted of murdering an Indian couple in Dubai has lost his appeal against the death sentence.

The Pakistani construction worker stabbed Hiren and Vidhi Adhiya as they slept at their home in Mirador, Arabian Ranches, on June 17, 2020.

Prosecutors said the man, who was aged 26 at the time of the incident, had planned to burgle the house.

He was found guilty of the pair's murder by the Dubai Criminal Court in April.

On Wednesday, the Dubai Court of Appeal rejected the man's plea for the death penalty to be lifted due to lack of criminal intent.

“The criminal intent factor has been proven by evidence and by his confession,” the court ruled.

The death sentence will not to be final until ratified by the Court of Cessation, the emirate's highest court.

No date has been set for this hearing.

'Killer lay in wait for hours'

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , June 23  – 2020 :- View of the entrance of gate no 1 at the Mirador in the Arabian Ranches in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) For News.

During the initial hearing, judges were told the man hid outside the couple’s home for six hours before sneaking in through an unlocked patio door when the lights inside were switched off.

He had planned to steal money and jewellery, which he had seen while carrying out maintenance work at the house the previous December.

After taking cash from a wallet on the ground floor of the property, he went upstairs to search for more valuables.

When Hiren Adhiya, 48, was awakened by the sound of his bedside drawer opening, the man stabbed him to death before attacking Vidhi, 40.

Forensic reports revealed Hiren was stabbed 10 times in the head, chest, abdomen and left shoulder.

His wife was stabbed 14 times in the head, neck, chest, face, ear and right arm.

Both victims were attacked in bed. The knife was found to have penetrated their blanket several times.

As the assailant left the bedroom, he met the couple’s elder daughter, who was 18 at the time, and stabbed her in the neck.

The girl and her sister, then 13, saw the crime scene and called police and one of their father’s friends.

Investigators found a bloody handprint on the family’s wall and samples taken from a mask found on the victims’ bed matched the accused’s DNA.

The knife used in the murder was found dumped about 500 metres from the villa.

The man was arrested in Sharjah a few days later.

During questioning by police and prosecutors, he admitted to the premeditated murder of the couple, attempted murder of their daughter and theft.

He said three days before the murder, his mother in Pakistan had fallen sick and he was thinking of ways to provide her with money.

When he appeared in court in November 2020, the man changed his plea and denied all charges.

The two daughters and their father’s friend testified before the court in February last year.

The older daughter told judges that, at about 1.30am that day, she heard cries for help coming from her parents’ bedroom and used her mobile phone torch to see what was happening upstairs.

“I met him at the room’s door and he stabbed me at sight, but I kicked him before he fled,” she told judges.

The deceased man’s friend said the older daughter called him at about 2am.

“She was screaming that her mother was dead and her father was still moving and that she had been stabbed too,” he said in court.

“I thought she had a nightmare at first but when my wife and I arrived at the villa we saw police and an ambulance.”

Prosecutors sought the death penalty against the accused.

They said the crime was premeditated and planned.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 6:57 PM