The British electrician who was held in Dubai for three months for touching another man’s hip has been spotted talking on his phone are landing back in the UK.
Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, was sentenced to three months jail by a court on Sunday, but had his passport returned on Monday after the charges were dropped.
He was pictured deep in discussion outside his home after the end of a hellish ordeal which began when was arrested in July accused of putting his hand on a man’s hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar.
Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, was pictured today speaking on his mobile phone outside his home following the end of a hellish ordeal
Mr Harron, pictured today, was arrested in July and accused of putting his hand on a man’s hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar
The electrician lost his job and racked up debt after having to spend more than £32,000 in legal fees and expenses while stuck without a passport in the UAE.
But he was able to leave the country after the charges were dropped and said he can’t wait for ‘a good night’s sleep in my bed’ after landing at Glasgow Airport.
He was photographed on Tuesday evening with his thumbs up at the airport and was pictured embracing his delighted mother Patricia, father Graham and sister Jordan.
Speaking of his ordeal, he said: ‘I think it was a bad situation, to be honest. I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
‘I still couldn’t believe it had actually happened and what it was that was going on.
‘Even now that I’m actually home, I still can’t believe that it was actually three and a half months.
‘I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep in my bed cause I was sleeping on my mate’s couch. The full thing’s just mental. I feel very good. I am happy to be home.’
His mother, 55, said it is ‘brilliant’ to finally have her son home and kissed him on the cheek after he touched down.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is thought to have intervened due to growing international pressure.
His mother Patricia gave him a kiss on the cheek after he landed back in Glasgow on Tuesday night
Mr Harron smiled when he hugged his mother after he arrived back in Scotland at Glasgow Airport
His mother Patricia and sister Jordan were waiting for him at the airport and he looked relieved to be finally be home
In a statement released through campaign group Detained in Dubai, Mr Harron said: ‘No one should go through what I went through.
‘Yesterday, I faced months in a Dubai prison cell. Today, I was phoned to say I could collect my passport.
Jamie Harron photographed with his thumbs up at Glasgow Airport after being released from Dubai
‘The past few months have been up and down and full of worry for everyone. I am arranging flights back home now and can’t wait to see my family.
‘It’s going to take me a while to recover. It is hard for my friends to imagine what was going through my head when I was told I would be jailed for months.
‘I am struggling to come to terms with being released but will be having dinner with my friends tonight before I leave for good.’
He added that he is delighted to be coming home and wanted to thank Dubai’s ruler.
He also said his parents are ‘ecstatic’ that he is returning after his experience with the ‘absolute shambles’ of Dubai’s justice system.
His mother, Patricia, said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ at the news.
Harron told her: ‘Just stop crying mum, don’t be upset anymore. Don’t cry anymore.’
He said he put his hand on businessman Emad Tabaza’s hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar.
His Jordanian accuser dropped the complaint, but local prosecutors decided to proceed with the case.
Jamie Harron, 27, from Stirling, was sentenced for public indecency in the Middle Eastern country
Businessman Emad Tabaza (left) had left Briton Jamie Harron in jail (right) over claims of being indecently touched
The electrician had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates when he was arrested in July.
The vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has exonerated Harron, according to the group Detained in Dubai.
Radha Stirling, who works for Detained in Dubai, said: ‘The cases against him have been dismissed, and the sentence imposed by the court yesterday has been nullified.
‘We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed for his personal intervention in this case, and for exonerating Jamie at long last.
‘It has now been established that the allegations against Jamie were entirely unwarranted, defamatory, and meritless; to such an extent that the ruler of the country found it necessary to step in and correct the wrongful action of the public prosecutor and to quash the judgment of the court.’
She added: ‘This was a courageous and honourable decision on the part of Sheikh Mohammed.
‘While it highlights the urgent need for judicial reform in the country, it is also a hopeful sign that the UAE’s leadership possesses the will and vision to pursue such reforms in the future.’
Harron (pictured left) is now free to leave the country after having his passport returned after an intervention by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (pictured right)
Who is the ruler of Dubai?
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at Ladies Day at Ascot Racecourse in 2009
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates as well as the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.
The 68-year-old succeeded his brother as leader of the tiny Middle Eastern city in 2006 and has been credited with turning it into a global business and tourism destination.
He oversaw the building of the Burj Al Arab hotel and the Palm Islands in Dubai alongside many other projects.
As well as being a much-hailed leader, he is also a published poet and a keen equestrian.
His family owns the world-famous Godolphin stable, of which he is the driving force.
The enormously successful operation has won 4,000 races since it was created in 1992 and has been named British Champion Owner twelve times – in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
It has stables in Newmarket, Sydney and Melbourne and has its headquarters in Dubai.
The sheikh has himself has also won victories on horseback, including a double in the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships at Euston Hall in Thetford five years ago.
She said Harron is now considering a civil suit against the businessman and his staff who also accused him of drinking alcohol and making a rude gesture.
When he was sentenced on Monday, he was given two weeks to appeal the decision.
He was said to be ‘angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next’.
He was initially jailed for five days and then released on bail with his passport confiscated.
The incident occurred at the raucous Rock Bottom bar, popular among Dubai’s many wealthy and often tipsy foreign residents and tourists.
Stirling said at the time: ‘He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration.
‘He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defence and led him to believe that the case would be dropped.’
She added: ‘His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE’s cyber crime laws which forbid criticism of the government.’
Harron had already been sentenced in absentia to 30 days in prison for failing to appear at a court hearing for making a rude gesture and drinking alcohol during the same July incident.
Stirling said she believed a decree from Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had resolved the case.
In Dubai, as in the other seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates, absolute power rests with the hereditary ruler.
‘It was just a public-relations nightmare for the country,’ Stirling said.
She said of Harron: ‘He was understandably nervous; as similar calls from the police in other cases were merely tactics to lure individuals into police custody.’
Mr Harron with his parents Graham and Patricia, who were said to be distraught about their son’s legal case
Accused Brit also had his bike taken
Yesterday it was revealed that Harron had his garage broken into at his home in Scotland.
Writing on Facebook, Jordan Harron said: ‘So to add to Jamie’s ordeal. His garage has now been broken into with a saw, things stolen one of which his good bike! Police been phoned but can everyone please share!!
‘So to add to Jamie’s ordeal. His garage has now been broken into with a saw, things stolen one of which his good bike!
‘Police been phoned but can everyone please share!! Find out who this low life scum is !!’
Dubai, home of the long-haul airline Emirates, long has sought to make itself a tourism hub.
It has the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – as well as man-made islands, an indoor ski slope and miles of air-conditioned walkways in its high-end malls. It also will host the 2020 World Expo, a world’s fair held every five years.
Part of Dubai’s year-round tourism draw is also its alcohol sales, as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran ban the purchase of liquor and beer. Even neighbouring Sharjah, another of the UAE’s sheikhdoms, bans it.
However, alcohol possession for foreigners is technically illegal without a government-issued license obtainable only after gaining their employer’s permission, though liquor and beer are widely available in bars.