Dubai: A man and his wife on trial for torturing and starving the man’s mother to death were each sentenced to 10 years in jail, a Dubai court heard on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old defendant and his 28-year-old wife, both Indian, tortured the man’s mother inside their Al Ghusais residence, starving the victim until she weighed just 29-kg, because she wasn’t looking after her granddaughter.
The man’s wife cried out in court when the verdict was heard and started shouting ‘I did nothing, I did nothing’ before being led away by guards.
According to Dubai Court of First Instance, the couple tortured the victim from July 2018, until her death in October 2018.
They have been both been ordered with deportation following their jail term.
An Indian neighbour testified that she met the wife in the building and she had told her that her mother-in-law had come from India to look after their daughter, but she neglected the child and wasn’t changing the girl’s nappies, which caused the girl to become ill.
“After a few days, I was in the laundry area when I saw the an elderly woman looking miserable and pitiful,” said the neighbour. “There were signs of burns on her body as she was wearing a sari. I asked her what happened but she refused to answer and left,” added the neighbour.
Soon after, the neighbour reported the woman’s condition to the building’s security guard who searched every apartment to find out where the woman was staying. When they reached the defendants’ flat they found the victim laying on the floor.
“The man was standing near her and he said that she was his mother. He claimed that she didn’t want to sleep on the bed,” said the neighbour. “I called for an ambulance as the woman was in critical condition. I tried to fix her clothes but her sari was stuck to her burned body and she was crying in pain,” added the neighbour.
A paramedic testified that the man didn’t even walk his mother to the ambulance and was looking on from afar when she was transferred to the vehicle.
“She was crying in pain,” said the paramedic. “I asked her son what caused the burns and he said that she had poured hot water on herself. He didn’t care about his mother and didn’t even help us to carry her to the wheelchair. It was the neighbours who helped.”
The woman was transferred to Rashid Hospital but she died a month later.
According to a forensic report, the man’s mother, who was in her 50s, suffered multiple burns and broken bones as result of sustained torture and physical assault. She was only 29-kg when she arrived to the hospital and reports confirmed that she had been starved, tortured and neglected for months leading up to her death.
The verdict will be subject for appeal within 15 days.