'I did not mean to kill her' defendant tells Dubai court
A man went on trial yesterday accused of assaulting a woman in a Dubai street who later died from her injuries.
The 23-year-old appeared before the Court of First Instance for the attack on 26-year-old Kenyan sales clerk Esther Wanjiru Mwikamba. He denied a charge of assault leading to death and also pleaded not guilty to sexually molesting her friend.
The defendant, who is Emirati, confessed that he assaulted Mwikamba but told the judge yesterday: “I didn’t intend to kill her.”
The court heard that Mwikamba had been with two friends in a car park off Sheikh Zayed Road when the defendant and one of his pals approached them about 3.30am in February.
The defendant allegedly touched one of the women inappropriately. She said: “I yelled at him. He said that we both had dark skin and touching between dark skin was normal. His friend apologised and said that his pal was drunk.”
The court heard that Mwikamba then tried to step in. Another friend of the victim continued: “He became angry and punched her, knocking her to the ground. He started kicking her head and showed no mercy. I started yelling for help. Esther then went quiet and stopped moving.
“He kicked her head four times. She was bleeding from her nose, ear and mouth. She was breathing very fast and not responding.
“He attacked me but some people came to help, as well security men, so he fled the scene in his black FJ Cruiser.”
Mwikamba spent almost a month in a coma in Dubai’s Rashid Hospital before she died of her injuries on March 20. The second friend said in her official statement: “I want the toughest sentence for him because he molested us and assaulted Esther who was defending us. She died because of that.”
Under UAE law, the maximum sentence for assault leading to death is 10 years.
The case was adjourned until next month.