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Dubai: An electrician, who stabbed his co-worker to death with a razor because he had smelly feet, has been jailed for five years.

The 22-year-old Pakistani electrician and his countryman co-worker were resting in the air-conditioned electricity room during the midday break in July last year.

The co-worker slept on the floor and put his feet up facing the electrician’s face, before the latter asked him to remove his feet because of the bad smell. When the co-worker refused, the two men got into a heated argument that developed into a fight before other workmates intervened and stopped the brawl.

The 22-year-old rushed to a nearby warehouse at the construction site where they had been working, came back with a razor and stabbed the co-worker in his neck.

On-site surveillance cameras showed the electrician hiding the razor behind him before he attacked the victim three or four times.

Medical reports said the victim was rushed to the hospital in a critical state on July 26 where he suffered profuse bleeding and slipped into a coma. Despite several operations, he succumbed to his injuries on July 31.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of killing his countryman.

During trial, he had pleaded not guilty. “We had a fight and when he tried to assault me, I assaulted him back,” the defendant told the court.

The presiding judge said the accused will be deported after serving his jail term.

A Syrian supervisor testified that the incident happened shortly after he had permitted the workers to go and rest in the electricity room because it had a cooler.

“After lunch, the accused and the victim got into a brawl after the latter slept with his feet in front of the defendant’s face. They quarrelled when the victim refused to move away his smelly feet. The security guard came and told me what had happened … when I went to the room, the defendant was not there and so I told the victim to rest somewhere else. Then when I got inside my car and was about to drive, a worker came running and told me that the accused had assaulted the victim, who was bleeding from his neck,” the supervisor said.

A police sergeant testified that the defendant was apprehended from the worksite.

“During questioning, the defendant said the deceased had very smelly feet when he slept in front of him with his legs up before his face. When he asked the victim to move his feet away, he refused. Then they had a heated argument and assaulted each other. He claimed that when the deceased cursed him, he felt angry, so he got the razor from the warehouse and stabbed the victim,” the sergeant said.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.