Dubai, May 31: Investigations into a British teenager’s fatal fall from a Motor City building have taken a new twist. The police are now believed to be probing a murder angle. At the centre of their investigation is a ‘mysterious brawl’ that allegedly led to the boy’s suspicious death, XPRESS can reveal.
A student of Jumeirah College, Harry Harling, 15, was found dead on the lawn of Newbridge Hill 1 residential building in Motor City on March 24. Sources told XPRESS that investigators are in possession of CCTV footage showing three men moving around in the building lobby after midnight when Harry and his friends were having a party in an apartment there.
On March 23 evening, 42 teenagers from Dubai’s five leading expat schools turned up at an apartment on the 7th floor of Newbridge Hill 2 for a sleep-over party, the sources said. XPRESS is withholding the apartment number and the name of its Western owner as the case is under police investigation.
A next-door neighbour told XPRESS she saw the partygoers arriving in taxis and shouting up from the car park to the balcony of the apartment from where loud music was blaring.
According to the sources, the fun-filled evening took an ugly turn when a couple and a third person complained about the loud music and noise. This soon turned in to a brawl between them. It is believed that soon after, Harry was thrown from a West-facing window on the 11th floor of Newbridge Hill 1 building.
The sources also said a student reported that he overheard a conversation at a men’s salon that Harry was drugged and pushed from the common area’s window on the 11th floor of the Newbridge Hill 1 building.
Moreover, the police have recorded statements of a 16-year-old boy who was at the party. He said that there were three clashes between the students that evening. According to the sources, the boy told the police: “At no time were they supervised or helped by the host. After the brawls, Harry was left outside and allowed to leave to get a taxi when in fact his parents had given him permission to ‘stay the night’ at his friend’s house. The parents were not informed that Harry had left the party and believed him to be safe for the night. Sadly they did not know he was dead outside the building until telephoned the next day by the Dubai Police.”
A Swiss couple, residents of Newbridge Hill, meanwhile, told XPRESS they had heard loud “fun-filled” noises coming from a flat on the top floor of the building when they were taking a stroll to Spinneys at the nearby Foxhill building on March 23. However, the noise sounded like a “major brawl”, when they returned later, the couple said.
On March 24, this XPRESS reporter saw black powder fingerprint traces left by forensic experts, which suggested the boy did fall from that particular window on a grass patch directly below the top floor window of Newbridge Hill 1. A close look revealed that the window hinges were broken.
A lawyer who is working with prosecutors in the case told XPRESS: “Harry can in no way jump out of the window — it’s far too high for him to even climb up. There is more to the incident that meets the eyes. Everyone — his friends, parents, teachers and even neighbours are certain something untoward took place.”
“No one saw the body before 8.30am. How is that possible as a lot of people had passed through the area during that time, including the police,” a neighbour said, adding that the police visited the area twice that night — first, when the watchman had to call them as there was fighting in another party in a Foxhill apartment; and second, when a lorry met with an accident near the Motor City roundabout.
“We firmly believe that our son would not have been on his own after saying: ‘I’m getting a taxi, I’m going home’. We have full faith in Dubai Police and know the officials are doing their best. However, it simply doesn’t make sense for Harry to say he is getting a cab home and then his body being found at the bottom of the building. Something must have happened in between. How can anyone let a 15-year-old boy die at a public place and not report it? I appeal to all those who may have seen or been present when the incident took place to come forward and help bring justice to Harry. Please help if you have seen Harry between midnight and 9.30am on 24/03/2012. For any information, anonymous or otherwise, please contact XPRESS,” Harry’s father Nicolus Harling’s appeal letter stated on Wednesday.