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27 February 2024

Disabled girl groped in supermarket

A disabled girl was allegedly groped in a supermarket. (Supplied)

By Eman Al Baik

FS, a 29-year old Sri Lankan worker, allegedly groped a disabled 10- year-old girl while she was with her sister in a supermarket below their house, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

NM, Syrian student, and her sister MM, also 10 years old, were accompanied by their father to the supermarket.

As he had to go to work, the father left the two girls in the supermarket to pick up things and pay for their purchases.

“I was sitting in the wheelchair and my sister was pushing it in the lanes among the shelves. While my sister was picking up something from a shelf with her back towards me, a man put his hand on my breast and started groping me. When I shouted at him, he pulled his hand away,” said the victim.

The two girls went to the counter and paid for their stuff before leaving the shop to go to their house.

“While we were waiting for the lift, I saw the same man who had groped me in the supermarket standing behind us,” said the victim.

MM pushed her sister’s wheelchair and got into the lift and put their bags on her lap and in the lift. The man entered behind the girls who pressed the third-floor button while he pressed the button for the second floor.

When the lift reached the second floor, the man got out and the two girls continued to the third floor.

“When the lift reached the third floor, my sister started picking up the bags and headed to our house after pushing me out of the lift. I was shocked to see the same man in front of the lift. He looked at me and then opened the zip of his trousers showing his private parts. I quickly turned my wheelchair in the opposite direction and knocked at the flat next to the lift. Since I was very scared, I sought help from the neighbours as our house was at the end of the corridor,” said the little girl.

When the man saw the girl knocking at a door, he ran away.

Then the victim moved with her chair to her house and informed her mother who in turn called the father and told him about the incident.

Police arrived and reviewing the CCTV in the supermarket, they did not see anyone groping the girl. So they left.

The father then asked his daughter to go down with him to look for the groper. The girl refused to go out of the house as she was scared. She said the man had a tattoo on his shoulder.

“I knocked at a flat where Sri Lankan men live, asking about a man with a tattoo. The bachelor residents told me that nobody with a tattoo lives in the flat,” said the father.

On the following day, the father with his daughters went down the building to look for the groper.

“We did not see anyone. We got into the building, and I pressed the second floor button where the Sri Lankans live. As we were getting out of the lift, my daughter shouted and pointed at a man who was entering the bachelors’ flat. I rushed towards him and caught him before he entered the house. He started saying: “Sorry... Sorry”... I looked at his shoulder and saw a tattoo.

The father called the police who arrived and arrested the accused.

The court will give its verdict on February 26.