The Dubai Courts building. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: A gardener in Dubai has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his elderly employer.

The Dubai Court of First Instance heard that the 29-year-old expatriate defendant killed the Emirati victim by strangulating him with a bed sheet because of what the defendant claimed as bad treatment and non-payment of full salary.

According to records, in June 2020, the victim’s wife left him alone with the defendant at their house in Al Muraqqabat area and went outside. When she returned after two hours, the defendant told her that the victim had fallen on the ground. “I thought he had fallen again as he was sick and suffered from diabetes. I asked him [the defendant] to call the ambulance and called the victim’s sons. My husband had a surgery in his eyes and also couldn’t hear well,” said the 42-year-old wife on record.

Dubai Police were alerted after the paramedics noticed a fabric around the victim’s neck. This led the family to suspect the defendant, who had escaped that very day.

“The victim’s wife said that the gardener worked illegally for them as he was on someone else’s sponsorship. He was arrested the next day and admitted to killing the victim,” an Emirati policeman said, according to records.

The defendant said the victim’s son had hired him to look after his father for a salary of Dh2,000 per month. However, the victim only paid him Dh800 for two months before reducing his salary to Dh600. “The defendant claimed that the victim used to abuse him. He alleged that he used to beat him with a stick and insult him all the time.”

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The defendant said that on the day of the incident, the victim had asked him to prepare tea and serve him shisha. However, he claimed that the victim beat him as he was late in serving tea. “The defendant admitted that he had pushed the victim and knocked him down on the ground, before sitting on his chest and strangulating him to death using a bed sheet. He then sat beside the body for an hour,” the Emirati policeman added.

The victim’s son told Dubai Police that before the incident, his father had told his stepmother that the defendant would kill him one day.

The court handed the defendant a life imprisonment, to be followed by deportation. The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.