A worker, who followed a waitress at 4am in the street and robbed her purse that contained her mobile after he punched her, has been jailed for three months.

The Sri Lankan waitress was walking back to her residence after she finished work at 4am when she felt someone walking behind her in front of Dubai Police School in September.

Once she turned back wanting to see who had been following her, the woman saw a 28-year-old Nigerian worker who punched her face.

The woman resisted the abuser ferociously for nearly seven minutes and held on to her purse in a bid to foil the Nigerian’s attempt from robbing her.

But when the purse’s shoulder straps snapped, the accused snatched the purse and fled.

The waitress informed the police that called her a few days later to the station where she identified the Nigerian thief, who had been arrested, in the line-up.

On Thursday, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the Nigerian defendant of punching the woman and stealing her purse that contained her phone and Emirates ID.

Presiding judge Habib Awad said the 28-year-old, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported.

The waitress said the accused mugged her when she was alone in the street.

“I felt someone tailing me and when I turned, the suspect punched me in my face. I resisted him for around seven minutes and prevented him from stealing my bag … but when the straps snapped, he pulled the purse and absconded. I reported that to the police that called me after few days to the station. I identified the suspect in the line-up and got back my purse that contained my phone, Emirates ID and Dh100,” she testified to prosecutors.

Thursday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.