x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Couple out on bail during appeal stage

The British couple sentenced to jail for "illicit relations" on a public beach will remain on bail while they prepare their appeal.

DUBAI // The British man and woman sentenced to jail for "illicit relations" on a public beach will remain on bail while they prepare their appeal. Michelle Palmer, 36, and Vince Acors, 34, now have less than two weeks to appeal after being found guilty at the Dubai Misdemeanours Court on Thursday. They will remain out of prison while filing an appeal, as long as the authorities continue to hold their passports, said Hassan Matter, their lawyer.

Neither Palmer nor Acors were present in court when sentence was passed. "My clients will remain out on bail, during which we will appeal the decision as they are innocent and we will prove that," said Mr Matter. Palmer, who had a senior position at the publishing firm ITP, and Mr Acors, who was on a short business trip, were sentenced to three months in prison and deportation for illicit relations. They were also fined Dh1,000 (US$272) for being intoxicated in a public place.

Mr Matter said they stayed away from the courthouse to avoid being immediately jailed, a situation that would have caused "a few complications in lodging the appeal". "But now we have time to do so while my clients are free", he said. The pair were arrested for allegedly having intercourse on Jumeirah Beach on July 5. shafez@thenational.ae