A British man is facing up to 15 years in jail for pinching a woman's bum in a Dubai
jail - a charge that he strongly denies.
Steven Sheriff, 43, says he was mistaken for the "groper" after a 23-year-old claimed someone squeezed her buttock and slipped their hand between her legs at a bar in February.
The woman told her boyfriend who, believing the bottom-pincher to be Mr Sheriff, punched him and knocked him out.
Both of the men were arrested, and later withdrew complaints against each other. But police in the strict Muslim country charged Steven with being drunk and sexual assault, as well as charging the boyfriend with being drunk.
Steven, who is married and is originally from Belfast, told The Sun
: "My lawyer says I will get three to 15 years if convicted. But I never touched her."
He admitted being drunk but added: "I'd never do a thing like that no matter how drunk I was."
He is due in court on 5 June 2012.
The news comes just after Rebecca Black, a 27-year-old recruitment consultant, was accused of having sex in the back of a Dubai taxi
with Irishman Conor McRedmond.
Ms Black maintains that she was alone in the cab and was arrested for having alcohol in the taxi, not on suspicion of public indecency.
According to the report in The Sun
, Ms Black was held in custody for five days
before being bailed out by company manager Rowley Rees Brown, a friend who also lives in Dubai.
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Avoid getting into trouble abroad and discover some of the weird laws around the world:
- Don't drink while in possession of a cow in Scotland
In Scotland, it's still illegal to be drunk while in possession of a cow. It's not clear why this law was introduced but it could have been due to many farmers getting drunk at the time! But what about being drunk while in possession of sheep?</p>
- Hot pink shorts are a fashion crime in Victoria, Australia
This may sound bizarre but in Victoria, Australia it's illegal to wear hot pink shorts after midday on a Sunday! It's hard to fathom the point of this law but it could have been introduced so that churchgoers returning home after the Sunday service weren't offended.</p>
- Don't chew gum in Singapore
Don't get yourself in a sticky situation in Singapore where chewing gum is prohibited. The law was introduced because it became difficult and expensive to remove stuck chewing gum from public spaces. The sticky stuff even stopped the Mass Rapid Transit trains from moving when it was stuck on the doors.</p>
- Don't stop smiling in Milan
In Italy's fashion capital Milan, there's still a law that exists requiring its citizens to smile at all times or risk paying a hefty fine. Of course the law comes with an exception... you're allowed to look sad when visiting a hospital or at a funeral!</p>
- Don't go commando in Thailand
It's illegal to leave the house without wearing underwear in Thailand. We're not sure how this law is enforced or what the penalty is but it's a good idea to pack extra undies if you're travelling to Thailand! It's also against the law to drive without your top on and the police do hand out tickets to shirtless motorcycle and car drivers, so beware!</p>
- Don't flush the toilet after 10pm in Switzerland
If you're staying with friends or family in Switzerland and they live in an apartment, you may want to think again before having a drink before going to bed as it's still illegal to flush the toilet after 10pm in most apartment houses. We like how polite the Swiss are that they don't want to wake the neighbours with their toilets roaring in the late hours, but what about the unpleasant build-up in the toilet bowl?</p>
- No mince pies on Christmas Day in England
The mince pie may be a sweet treat you enjoy throughout the festive season but did you know it's illegal to eat one on Christmas Day in England? This bizarre law was brought in by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century, who put a ban on mince pies and anything to do with gluttony on 25 December.</p>
- Don't feed the pigeons in Venice
In 2008, Mayor Massimo Cacciari banned the feeding of Venice's famous flocks of pigeons to cut the number of birds who were blamed for spreading filth and ruining the Italian city's stunning facades and monuments. This is one of the world's strange laws that exist and fines for feeding the birds start at 50 euros!</p>
- Keep your car clean in Moscow
If you're thinking of renting a car in the Russian capital of Moscow, you'll need to keep it clean as it's against the law to drive a dirty car in the city and doing so could leave you with a hefty fine. But how dirty is dirty? A survey when the law was first introduced showed that motorists in Russia agree that a car is dirty when the number plate isn't visible!</p>
- No trousers for women in Paris
In late 1799, a law banning women in Paris from wearing trousers was introduced and ladies wanting to 'dress like a man’ had to seek permission from the capital's main police station to do so. It was relaxed in 1892 so that trousers could be worn 'as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse' and in 1909 women 'on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars' could wear trousers. It was only in 2010 that French MPs discussed lifting the ban altogether!</p>