Guards boasted about ‘beating the s**t’ out of a British holidaymaker in a notorious Dubai police station shortly before he died, an inquest has heard.
Lee Brown, 39, was left to die ‘like a dog’ at the Bur Dubai police station, jurors were told.
Mr Brown had flown to the Gulf state on April 6, 2011 and planned to stop off for a few days on his way to visit his girlfriend in Indonesia.
Walthamstow Coroner’s Court was told he allegedly assaulted a maid at the Burj Al Arab Hotel the following day before being taken to the Bur Dubai police station, where he died five days later.
Inquest jurors were told no footage of the alleged incident or his time in the police station has ever been provided by authorities in the UAE, despite having been requested.
Fellow inmates said he appeared to have been having a psychotic episode when he was brought to the police station and behaved erratically towards guards and fellow prisoners.
One inmate told the hearing Mr Brown spoke about being ‘the Muslim Jesus’ when he arrived while another said he had spoken about having been abducted by aliens.
After being arrested and taken to the police station on April 7, he was taken to the prosecutor’s office a day later, where his behaviour is said to have been erratic and offensive to other people there.
On his return, he was allegedly beaten and kicked in the head by guards before being placed in solitary confinement, where he barely ate or drank and began to lose consciousness. He died on April 12, just five days after arriving at the police station.
Lee Brown, pictured, flew to Dubai on April 6, 2011 on his way to Indonesia to see his girlfriend. The builder was arrested after he was accused of assaulting a maid at the Burj Al Arab Hotel and was taken to the Bur Dubai police station
Mr Brown was accused of assaulting a maid at the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, pictured
GP records read to jurors said he had struggled with depression between 2001 and 2004 after his father passed away in his arms from a stroke.
He had no medical conditions and was not taking medication when he left for Dubai.
One detainee, who could only be referred to as Detainee One, told jurors in a written statement read by the coroner: ‘On 7 April 2011 a white British man was bought into the courtyard and was behaving very abnormally. He was shouting and swearing.
‘He was very loud and guards and prisoners were becoming noticeably annoyed by his behaviour.
‘It was abusive but not physical or threatening in any way. His behaviour caused people to become perplexed and annoyed as he was using foul language which some of the Muslim prisoners took great offence to.
‘I was disturbed but mainly felt sorry for him as he genuinely seemed really unwell. I was worried if he kept going on the way he was he would get attacked by the guards. He was shouting all kinds of things, some of which made sense and some of which did not.
‘He mentioned a girl had come into his room at the hotel. He told her to leave and thereafter police were called. I told him to stay calm and sit it out. He had no capacity to rationally think through the situation and identify a course of action that would allow him to resolve matters.
He was taken to the Bur Dubai police station where he later died after being ‘beaten and starved by guards’
‘I had developed a soft spot for him and thought he was a bit crazy but was quite friendly and pleasant.
‘On 8 April I pieced together various accounts from other prisoners who had also been there (to the prosecutor’s office) who said Lee had taken down his trousers and made rude and inappropriate remarks to the prosecutor, and had referred to genitals which infuriated the authorities who had ordered he be put in isolation.
‘I was told he was beaten up at the prosecutors office and then beaten in the van. I was told by many prisoners guards had boasted about having beaten him.
‘One prisoner said they heard guards say they ‘beat the sh*t’ out of him.
‘I went to the door (of the solitary cell) around 15 times in the next few days but he never responded. There is no dispute he was inside. He was either unconscious or semi-conscious.
‘A prisoner told me he had said ‘help me’ to them. One day I woke up and heard simply that he had died. He was simply left to die on his own like a dog.’
Detainee Two said in their statement: ‘On 8 April someone led me to the Bengali area of the prison and Lee was making statements like he was a false Messiah or the Muslim Jesus. When he got back from the prosecutor’s office he was bleeding head to toe and there were marks on his wrists.
‘There were no marks on him before he went to the prosecutor. He said he had been beaten and kicked in the head.
‘The police asked several prisoners to move Lee into solitary or something would happen like the canteen would close. After five minutes he said ‘I will calm down if they take my ankle cuffs off.’ They (the guards) said there was no choice. Lee said he was not going to be put in solitary.
‘Later that evening there was still bleeding on his head. I said to the guards ‘let him out’ and they said ‘he is mad.’ Lee was saying ‘help me, help me, I am going to die’. On 12 April an inmate came down and asked for Lee’s passport. He asked for it ‘because the British fellow had died.’ They took Lee out in a bag.’
Detainee Three said when Mr Brown arrived he claimed he had been abducted by aliens.
On his return from the prosecutor’s office his wrists were bleeding and he was handcuffed.
They added: ‘He said he had been shot by the police but obviously he had not been shot. He had a cut on his head that was bleeding, he was topless and he was obviously very scared. His wrists were handcuffed. (I was told) he smashed a flowerpot, stripped off and tried to jump out of the window at the prosecutor’s office.
‘When he was in solitary he hardly ate or drank anything. His food had been left untouched for two days. He should have been put on a psychiatric ward.
‘He could not move; it was like medieval torture handcuffing someone in that way.’
His mother Doris Brown told the court: ‘He was having a breakdown. He was saying he was Jesus, I didn’t realise how bad he was.
‘Every now and again he would see aliens or something and he believed it. At the time before he left he was not himself and I could tell he was not himself.
‘He could do his work and when he was at work he would do the best possible job he could do for anyone.
‘He was a happy and family-oriented person who was very hardworking.
‘He was good looking and treated women with respect, had good friends and the occasional girlfriend but nothing serious until his last relationship with the Indonesian woman.’
The jury inquest, which is being presided over by Area Coroner for East London Nadia Persaud, continues and is expected to last until Friday.