Man tells Dubai court he kissed girl, 13, in a ‘fatherly way’

Pakistani is accused of sexually assaulting British girl in a lift.

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DUBAI // A man accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl in a lift told a court that he was just kissing her as if she was his daughter.

Pakistani M B, 31, denied a charge of sexual assault at Dubai Criminal Court on Monday after prosecutors said he had held the British girl’s face between his hands and kissed her cheek and lips on October 27 last year.

The girl, G R, said she was on the ground floor of the building where she lived in Al Barsha and was using the lift to return to her family’s flat on the sixth floor when the defendant got in the lift.

She said that, when he grabbed her, she tried to get out at the third floor but said the man would not let her. She eventually managed to flee via a staircase and made her way to her mother, who was at the gym in the building.

“She was hysterical and shaking from fear and kept repeating that someone had kissed her,” said 34-year-old mother L H.

“I went outside with my daughter looking for this man, and when we didn’t find him I called building security and reported the incident.”

Police said in records that they tracked down the man through his car’s number plate, which they had obtained from camera footage.

“We checked the surveillance cameras and saw him getting into a car that obviously belonged to his work, so we managed to get to him and arrested him in Sharjah, in collaboration with Sharjah Police,” said policeman A H, 35.

“When he was first asked, he said he just saw a girl who seemed to be scared and in trouble and all he did was to calm her down.”

The defendant insisted during prosecution investigations that he only kissed the girl on her head and forehead in a fatherly way. He also denied sexually assaulting her in court.

A verdict is expected on April 9.