x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

British woman pleads not guilty

A British woman accused of having intercourse on a Dubai beach has pleaded not guilty to indecency charges but admitted she was drunk, sources close to the case say.

A British woman accused of having intercourse on a Dubai beach has pleaded not guilty.
A British woman accused of having intercourse on a Dubai beach has pleaded not guilty.

DUBAI // A British woman accused of having intercourse on a Dubai beach has pleaded not guilty to indecency charges but admitted she was drunk, sources close to the case say. She and her companion said they could not remember what happened because they were intoxicated, a source said. Michelle Palmer, 36, and Vincent Acors, 34, were charged by police with illicit relations, public indecency and being intoxicated in a public place following their arrest on July 5 after the incident on Jumeirah Public Beach. They were released on bail.

They were called before the Dubai Public Prosecutor on Sunday for questioning. "The investigation on Sunday began before noon and lasted two and a half hours," said a source familiar with the case. "There will be further investigations." The source said the pair told the public prosecutor they could not remember what had happened since they were intoxicated. "Both denied illicit relations and public indecency charges," the source said. "But they admitted to being drunk in public." The prosecutor will call the arresting officers again and they will give testimony while the couple is present.

Forensic tests allegedly showed the pair had had intercourse, he said. "The public prosecutor, presented with statements from the arresting officers and the DNA results, will forward the case to the courts," the source said. "However, it will take some time before it is referred to the courts for trial since both have denied [the charges] and were released on bail."

A source close to the defence team confirmed Ms Palmer denied the charges. She also denied contacting the British press and said what had been written about her in the press was not correct and she was considering legal action against the media for libel, he said. If convicted, the couple face jail sentences of three to six months followed by deportation for illicit relations and public indecency, and fines for being intoxicated in a public place.