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Painter accused of molesting girl, 10, at villa

Suspect tells court he slipped and touched girl by mistake while painting the room

Dubai: A painter has been accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl while working at her parents’ villa, a court heard on Thursday.

According to court records, during Ramadan in June, the British girl’s father noticed she was distracted and behaving unusually at dinner.

Asked why she was behaving strangely, the child said that the Pakistani painter, 24, hugged, groped and kissed her earlier that day.

The father reported the matter to the police immediately and the painter was arrested the next day.

Prosecutors accused the suspect of hugging, kissing and groping the girl’s private parts.

The suspect pleaded not guilty and refuted the accusation when he appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday.

“I did not intend to touch her, it happened by mistake,” the defendant argued before presiding judge Urfan Omar.

“What do you mean by mistake? Explain what happened?” the judge asked the suspect.

“I was busy painting the wall and had my back to the room. When I turned around, I did not realise that she was behind me and mistakenly touched her,” he replied.

The girl’s father testified to prosecutors that he discovered the issue when he noticed that his daughter being scared. “When I asked her what had happened, she said she was watching the painting work at one of the bedrooms in which the suspect was working. She alleged that the suspect put his hand inside her clothes and groped her, and that he hugged and kissed her inappropriately. She was afraid to tell me what had happened because the suspect asked her not to do so. Then I reported it to the police,” he told prosecutors.

A policeman testified to prosecutors that the suspect told him during questioning that he touched the girl by mistake. “First, he alleged that he slipped and touched the child by mistake. Then, he put his hand inside her shirt before she ran away,” the policeman said.

A ruling will be made on September 13.

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