Monday, 14 January 2013

Court Reporting Fun

gavel (Photo credit: SalFalko)
Covering the UAE's law courts must be the most coveted job at all the local papers. It's not only a chance to actually see some action - rather than sit at a desk subbing reports from national news agency WAM - but it also brings a pretty constant slew of oddball cases that range from the delightful to the downright worrying.

One of the many nice things about living in the UAE is that relatively petty crime makes it to the national dailies - whereas in the UK, for instance, anything less than a particularly gruesome and bloody murder would be lucky to make it to the local rag, let alone the nationals. That's not to say crime, including rape and murder, doesn't happen here. It's just that comparatively little of it goes on.

And so in today's paper we have a man jailed for three months for biting another's finger. The act was, apparently, not consensual - the two were involved in a brawl at Dubai's fruit and vegetable market. The biter was ordered to pay Dhs 21,000 compensation and will be deported once he completes his jail sentence.

Another non-consensual act was a man accused of inserting an industrial air line into his colleague's bottom, causing his stomach and face to inflate. Reporting on the story, Gulf News quotes the judge, displaying an admirable grasp of the essentials of the case in front of him, as asking: “Didn’t you put the hosepipe in his backside when the air was puffing out from it?”

Responding, the accused claimed, “I did so but from over his clothes. I did not mean to hurt him because it was supposed to be a joke.”

I'm not sure how it would make your face inflate, but then I lack the required experience of industrial airlines and human physiognomy. The case will come to judgement on January 30th, so I'm sure we'll all find out quite what went on.

But you see my point? These stories aren't relegated to the funny bit just before the sport on the six o'clock news, they're mainstream court reporting - which sort of speaks to the very low crime rate here. It'd be nice to credit the forces of law and order for that, but it's really because we're all on the hog's back - everyone here is better off than they would be at home and so very few are willing to rock the boat. And yes, that even includes the labourers.

In related news, Gulf News managed to repeat yesterday's 'Star Gazing' astrology column in today's paper, too. You'd have thought columnist Shelley Von Strunckel would have seen that coming, wouldn't you? But then it's always been sort of hard predicting what the Gulf News subs will get up to next...

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1 comment:

Seabee said...

My favourite bit of the hosepipe report was "...when he pushed the pipe up his friend’s rectum which was switched on."

No, really. It's here:

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