Stock photo, Dubai: Getty
A British man who was sentenced to six months in a Dubai jail for allegedly pinching a woman's bottom has been cleared after an appeal.
Steven Sheriff was, he says falsely, accused of pinching a woman's bum in a hotel bar in Dubai, and sentenced to jail under the Gulf's strict decency laws.
Although he has now cleared his name, Sheriff says his life has been left in tatters, and now plans to sue the 23-year-old British woman who made the claim.
The Belfast-born expat, who runs a paint business, says he is now broke after spending £70,000 on legal bills, telling The Sun: "I've lost nine months of my life. My earnings of £7,000 a month went down the drain and I lost a contract worth millions."
Mr Sheriff says he was mistaken for the "groper" after the 23-year-old claimed someone squeezed her buttock and slipped their hand between her legs at a bar in February.
The woman told her boyfriend who, believing the bottom-pincher to be Mr Sheriff, punched him and knocked him out.
Both of the men were arrested, and later withdrew complaints against each other. But police in the strict Muslim country charged Steven with being drunk and sexual assault, as well as charging the boyfriend with being drunk.
Steven, who is married, told The Sun: "I never touched her."
He admitted being drunk but added: "I'd never do a thing like that no matter how drunk I was."
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