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Aberdeenshire grandfather Ian Mackellar free to leave Dubai after court fine over party row | UK News


An Aberdeenshire grandfather who was facing jail in Dubai following a row over a noisy New Year’s Eve party has been allowed to leave the country.

Ian Mackellar, 75, had been visiting his daughter and granddaughter when he found himself arrested after complaining to neighbours over their New Year’s Eve party ruckus.

Mr Mackellar was charged with trespassing and verbal assault and was blocked from leaving the United Arab Emirates.

Under Dubai’s laws, Mr Mackellar could have been facing time behind bars.

He has been spared a prison sentence and was instead fined £650.

Detained in Dubai, which supports people caught up in UAE legal issues, said Mr Mackellar was “absolutely relieved” and has already booked his flight back to Glasgow.

Founder Radha Stirling said he should be home by Wednesday.

Mr Mackellar’s wife, Carol, was said to be thankful the “nightmare was over”.

Ms Stirling added: “She can’t wait to see him and is especially happy he has not been banned from returning to Dubai to visit his daughter in the future.”

The couple had been visiting their daughter while she settled into a new job.

Mr Mackellar was said to have asked the neighbours to turn their music down, which led to the conversation becoming “aggressive” and a drink reportedly being thrown by the host at one stage.

Ms Stirling said: “Ian was extremely nervous. He had no idea what was happening.

“He was put in front of a judge without his lawyer and essentially pushed to plead guilty to the charges against him.

“Ian did so and was then held in a locked room on his own, wondering whether he would be taken to prison.

“He was finally delivered the relieving news that he would be fined AED 3,000 (£650) and the travel ban would be removed.”

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‘He wouldn’t survive’ in jail

Following the incident, Mrs Mackellar was able to return home to Newtonhill and appealed for help from the safety of Scotland.

Speaking to Sky News last week, Mrs Mackellar said her husband’s mind had been “going down dark alleys” due to the stress and she was worried that she would never see him again.

She added that he “certainly wouldn’t survive” a prison sentence due to his poor health.

Mrs Mackellar added: “This really has been the most awful experience that we’ve ever undergone.”

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We provided consular assistance to a British man in Dubai.”

The Government of Dubai Media Office was contacted for comment.

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