courts

Woman accused of stealing bra gets suspended jail term

Appeal court accepts lawyer’s defence that she had forgotten undergarment on her shoulder

15:26 August 8, 2017

Dubai: A woman, accused of attempting to steal a bra from a store, received a suspended jail term after her lawyer convinced the court that she forgot it on her shoulder.

Challenging the Italian woman’s three-month imprisonment and deportation order before the Dubai Appeal Court, defence lawyer Faisal Al Zarouni argued that his client had forgotten that the bra worth Dh270 was on her shoulder when she walked out of the lingerie store after trying it on.

In May, the Dubai Misdemeanour Court sentenced the woman to three months in jail followed by deportation after finding her guilty of attempting to steal the bra from the famous store in November.

The woman pleaded not guilty before the appeal court’s presiding judge Adnan Al Farra.

The store’s security guard reported to the police that the woman had picked up the bra while shopping at the store in a mall, walked into a fitting room and when she walked out again, the bra had disappeared.

The guard said that the bra was later found hidden in the woman’s bag.

Al Zarouni argued that his client entered the lingerie store to do some shopping.

“She picked up the bra and tried it on, but did not like it. She had also picked up other items so she put the bra on her shoulder to return it to the shelves from where she had taken it. When she walked out of the store, she had forgotten that the bra was still on her shoulder … anyone could have noticed it. She did not have any criminal intent. She simply forgot it on her shoulder and got out of the store … besides when she left, the alarm didn’t go off,” he argued.

Citing grounds of leniency, presiding judge Al Farra overturned the primary judgement and suspended the jail term.

The appellate court also cancelled the Italian’s deportation.

According to records, the defendant entered the store around 10.50pm. She was seen in CCTV footage picking up the bra and walking into the fitting room.

“The surveillance camera footage clearly showed my client leaving the store with the bra on her shoulder. She did not try to hide it … this evidently proves that she did not have any intention to steal the bra. The CCTV footage of the other stores also showed that the bra was still on my client’s shoulder. It was quite obvious that she had forgotten all about the bra. If she had the intention to steal the bra, why would she put it on her shoulder noticeably and walk out of the store?” argued Al Zarouni.

The lawyer pointed out that his client’s finances were sufficient enough to pay for a bra that costs only Dh270.

The appellate ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 20 days.