Dubai: A driver who sexually abused a saleswoman in a bus threatened to commit suicide if she informed the police and begged for her forgiveness, a Dubai court heard on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Pakistani driver sexually abused the 24-year-old Tajikistani woman in an empty bus in April this year while dropping her from Dubai Mall to Deira after work. He parked up in a sandy area near a mosque to pray before committing the crime, and then told her that if she reported the incident his life would end.

“He stopped and excused himself for a moment to go and pray, then returned after five minutes and kept driving until he reached another sandy area, before asking me to have sex with him,” said the victim. “I refused and shouted for help, but he used his hand to muzzle my mouth and threatened to bring his friends to rape me.”

He then ripped off the woman’s shirt and slapped her before sexually assaulting her inside the vehicle.

“He begged me not to report the incident to the police as he said his life would end,” she said. “He told me that he would commit suicide and I told him that I wouldn’t report the incident.”

The driver then dropped her on a main road and she took a taxi home where she informed a relative and headed to Muraqqabat Police Station to report the incident.

The defendant denied sexual abuse in court. He remains in custody and a verdict is expected on June 23.