A Sri Lankan maid was sentenced to six months in prison and fined Dh5,000 by the Sharjah Criminal Court for setting ablaze the car of her sponsor's wife parked in his house in Sharjah's Al Seeyoh area.
The convict will be deported after serving the jail term.
During the court hearing, Sultan Mohamed, the Emirati sponsor who is the complainant, said that on the day of the incident, he had gone out to the market when he got information that his wife's car had caught fire. He added that he rushed to his house and found the locked car in flames.
He found the domestic help standing near the burning car. She told him that she was trying to put out the blaze, but he couldn't find any trace of water anywhere and immediately called the civil defence.
The maid pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against her.
Talking to Khaleej Times, Mohamed said that the maid had been with his family for many years and she was being treated nicely by him and being given salary on time. He said that the reason the domestic help torched the car was that she had a problem with another Sri Lankan maid, who worked for his cousin.
Mohamed pointed out that the maid had planned to set the car on fire while he and his family were away.
He said that on May 12, they went out and around 10 pm, the maid called him to ask what time they would return home. Even though he told her they would be back soon, he kept wondering why she asked him that question.
He said that on Friday, he went to the market with his wife to get some plants when the maid called him to inquire when they would be back. "I asked her why she was asking me such a strange question."
He said that 15 minutes later, he received a call from a gardener who told him to hurry back home as his wife's car had caught fire.
Mohamed told KT that he rushed to his house and found the maid standing near the car. She told him that the car caught fire and she tried to put it out with water. However, he couldn't see any water around.
He said that he suspected the maid and reviewed the surveillance cameras. The man saw the domestic help opening his wife's car, sitting in it for a while, going inside the house, returning to the car while hiding something with a cloth.
Mohamed said that he asked the maid why she went and sat inside the car.
The maid told him that she saw smoke coming out of the car and so she ran to see what was wrong. "When I saw it burning, I tried to extinguish the fire," she claimed.
She said that the car caught fire because of his wife's perfume that was left inside. But he couldn't find any perfume there.
He said that the forensic laboratory report revealed that the car was set on fire by pouring gasoline and it was not caused by an explosion of perfume cans.
"Fortunately, the maid burnt my wife's old car valued at Dh15,000 as her new car worth Dh200,000 had been taken to the agency," he added.
"Besides, the car was parked outside and the flames did not spread inside the house. My son was reading in his room and was not aware of the fire."
He said that when he confronted the maid, she justified having burnt the car to prevent his wife from taking her to the house of his cousin because she had a problem with the maid who worked there. (Khaleej Times)