The accused, who had pleaded not guilty, will be deported following the completion of his punishment. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: A man accused of groping a woman’s backside on a Dubai beach has claimed that he touched her by accident while trying to catch a ball, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard on Monday.

The 23-year-old Egyptian carpenter was charged with sexual abuse at Umm Suqeim Beach last month after a 24-year-old Filipina accountant complained after being groped while swimming near the Burj Al Arab with her friends.

“I was angry and pushed his hand away,” said the victim. “My friend went to speak with him but he didn’t answer and just kept laughing. I alerted Dubai Police who came and arrested him despite his attempts to flee,” she added.

A police officer confirmed that the defendant tried to escape with a group of friends but once apprehended he confessed to touching the woman.

“He was terrified and apologised to her,” said the officer. “He claimed that he was only trying to catch a ball and accidentally touched her thigh.”

The trial reconvenes on June 23.