Dubai 'Sex on beach' British woman: I was forced to sign statement I couldn't understand

A British woman accused of having sex on a Dubai beach today broke her silence to claim she was forced to sign an Arabic statement against her will.

Michelle Palmer, who along with fellow Briton Vince Acors is accused of unmarried sex and public indecency, made the statement after appearing in court.

Their lawyer, Hassan Matter, believes the pair will be proved innocent by DNA tests.


'I'm Innocent': Michelle Palmer says she did not have sex with Vince Acors

Miss Palmer, 36, who trembled and fought back tears during today’s hearing, is forbidden from speaking directly to the press before her verdict is handed down on September 9.

But through a friend the businesswoman denied claims she threw a shoe at the policeman who arrested them, as well as ignoring his earlier warning that they should leave the beach.

She also said she was forced to sign a statement she couldn't understand.

And she insisted she never made ‘any slur on Islam’, despite prosecutors’ claims.

In a note passed to The Times a ‘close friend’ wrote: ‘She has been in hospital from panic attacks, on anti-depressants and stayed in hiding for seven weeks.

‘She’s a paranoid, scared wreck due to false allegations printed and she’s lost the job she loves.’

Miss Palmer, who was dismissed from her publishing job after her arrest, said that she had been humiliated by false press reports of her alleged encounter with Mr Acors, 34.

‘Ninety per cent of what has been reported is untrue,’ she said. ‘This certainly has all been trial by media.’

The note concludes with a simple plea: ‘They need help!’

Miss Palmer and Mr Acors face up to six months in jail if convicted.

But lawyer Mr Matter insisted the pair would soon be proved innocent.

Outside court, he said: 'Medical reports for Michelle said that she didn't have sex. The DNA from Michelle said she didn't have sex.

'They were arrested at about 1am and they went for a medical report at about 8.30am.

'The medical examination of Vincent didn't give any sure findings.'

Mr Matter also claimed witness statements, including one from a police officer, were 'wrong'.

Ms Palmer is a publishing executive from Oakham, Rutland, and has lived in Dubai for more than two years.

Mr Acors, from Bromley, was in the emirate as a tourist.

The couple met before the alleged crime at a 'bubbly brunch' at Le Meridien Hotel, where guests pay about £60 to enjoy all-you-can-drink champagne and food.

When asked if Ms Palmer wanted to return home, Mr Matter said: 'She likes Dubai.'

He added: 'Vincent ... wants to go home, but he can't go because his passport is at the police station.'

With its tax-free lifestyle and year-round sunshine, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, now has tens of thousands of British expatriates.

Many more go on holiday there each year.

Between April 2006 and March last year, 230 UK passport holders were arrested in the UAE, according to the Foreign Office.

Most were held over drugs, driving and alcohol use offences.

But public displays of affection, sex outside marriage, swearing and making rude gestures are arrestable offences, and importation of pork products is forbidden.

Homosexuality and cross-dressing are also banned.

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