A British woman and an Irishman 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 sex before marriage – 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 for ten hours before they were arrested. The court had earlier heard that Blake had been seen removing clothing and ‘going up and down on McRedmond’s thigh’.Pretty 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.’
Grey-suited McRedmond, of Tullamore, County Offaly, added: ‘I had been drinking all day too.’But the court heard Blake stripped naked and was seen ‘going up and down on McRedmond’s thigh’ on the back seat of the taxi.The Pakistani driver alleges he heard Blake ‘making the sounds of a woman having sex’.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.Blake, who was smartly dressed in a beige tailored jacket and black skirt for the five-minute hearing, was sacked from her £100,000-a-year job as a recruitment consultant for Manpower in Dubai following the scandal. – Dailymail
The pair were arrested on May 4 after a 10-hour drinking binge when a taxi driver, apparently disgusted by their frolicking on the back seat, pulled over and called on a patrolling policeman to intervene.In a police statement, the taxi driver said: ‘I saw the man drinking alcohol and I told him it’s not allowed. But he drank it and threw the glass out of the window.‘I looked in the mirror and saw the woman sitting on the man’s thighs. She was naked and going up and down, making sounds of a woman having sex.’ The driver stopped on the side of the road when he spotted a police officer.
He added: ‘The policeman asked me to follow him to the police station and on the way the woman offered me a big amount of money if I just said that they were kissing and not having sex. But I refused and told the truth to the investigators.’In his statement, the police officer added: ‘The male defendant’s trousers was down to the knee and the woman wasn’t wearing any underwear.‘They had sex for four minutes and then I knocked on the glass so they stopped and got dressed.’Both the taxi driver and policeman are expected to give evidence. Although the couple have denied having sex or stripping in the cab, Blake admitted after her arrest that she was ‘no saint’ and had drunk so much, the whole incident was a ‘blur’.
Blake from Dorking, Surrey, had started drinking at midday at a hotel brunch with free-flowing wine, then indulged in a happy hour session at the bar before moving to the Irish Village, where she met McRedmond and carried on drinking with him.They left the bar at 10.30pm and were arrested within minutes. The policeman who approached the cab said he saw Blake naked on the back seat with ‘the man hugging her’.When he was arrested, McRedmond told officers he had been hugging Blake because she was ‘sad’.Blake, who has been living in Dubai for a year and has had her passport confiscated, previously told The Sun newspaper: ‘I like to party and I like to drink. I’m a single girl with a good job and I am no saint.’
The pair were held for five days in cockroach-infested Dubai custody cells after their arrest, described by Blake as ‘hell’.’It was vile – the worst nightmare you could possibly imagine,’ she said at the time.Both defendants have been released on bail. Consensual sex and indecency each carry a prison term of between one month and three years while consumption of alcohol is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to £340.Foreigners who spend time behind bars are deported as soon as their sentence is completed.The case was adjourned until November 1. Mr Al Shammary said outside court that he expects the pair to be acquitted of the sex-related charges.