Monday, December 29, 2008


A British man who was convicted of having sex on a beach in Dubai has been left with a legal bill of tens of thousands of pounds.

Vince Acors, 34, of Bromley, south-east London, and Michelle Palmer, 36, of Oakham, Rutland, both got three-month jail terms, later suspended on appeal.

Acors told BBC Radio 5 Live it had been a "very expensive experience".

He also expressed his relief at seeing his family and friends after arriving back in the UK on Christmas Eve.

Acors said he went to Dubai on a three-day business trip which turned out to be a six-month ordeal which was "gladly finally over".

He went on to explain how the costs mounted up after he was arrested.

"You pay a succession of fees to a local, which is your lawyer, then you have a set of fees for your solicitor who effectively puts your case together," he said.

"We paid double-bubble, but we got the result that we wanted in the end."

He added: "It's been an extremely expensive situation for me. I had a pretty successful business before I went to Dubai which it's going to take me at least six months to pick back up again.

"In addition to that, the living expenses in Dubai are huge. I didn't think there could possibly be a place more expensive than London, but I found it."

He said he could not see himself and Palmer pursuing a relationship.

Acors later told a news conference that heavy drinking and contact between unmarried couples were not uncommon in Dubai, but added he had been "extremely naive".

"We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. He added that he felt the Dubai authorities had "no real choice" other than to find the pair guilty because of the worldwide publicity surrounding the situation.

"We were obviously on the beach, and the definition of sex in this country is different to the definition in the Middle East," he said. "There would have been some physical contact, but intercourse did not take place."

Palmer flew home before Acors who was re-arrested because of paperwork problems as he prepared to board a flight back to the UK.

She was working in Dubai as a publishing executive but was sacked after her arrest.

The pair were arrested on Jumeirah Beach on 5 July, hours after meeting at a champagne brunch.

In October, they were found guilty by Dubai's Court of First Instance of unmarried sex and public indecency. They admitted a charge of being drunk in a public place.

Acors and Palmer were also fined £170 each.



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