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Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Beach-sex couple to be deported

Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors montage picture
Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors will be sent home

Two Britons found guilty of having sex on a Dubai beach are to be deported without serving any jail sentence.

Michelle Palmer, 36, of Oakham, Rutland, and Vince Acors, 34, of Bromley, south-east London, had appealed against their convictions.

They were caught on Jumeirah Beach on 5 July and fined 170 and sentenced to three months in prison in October.

The pair were freed on bail during the appeals process and a court has now withdrawn their three-month jail terms.

Palmer and Acors were not in court for the verdicts, but speaking afterwards on her mobile phone, Palmer said: "It just proves our innocence after all the bad stuff that was written."

Hassan Matter, who represented the couple in court, said: "The judge has cancelled the jail. He refused the prosecution appeal [for the sentences to be increased].

Sacked

"They are free. It's wonderful. The judge gave us a good hearing because he has a good heart and a good brain. He understood everything."

Palmer and Acors were found guilty of unmarried sex and public indecency at Dubai's Court of First Instance.

The pair were arrested on the beach hours after meeting at a champagne brunch.

Palmer was sacked from her job in Dubai as a publishing executive after her arrest. Acors was visiting the emirate on holiday.

Prosecutors told Dubai's Court of Appeal the pair's punishment was too "small".

'Chuffed'

At the opening of their trial in August, Palmer denied having sex with Acors, saying they had simply been "kissing and hugging".

Mr Matter has insisted the results of a medical test on Palmer just hours after they were arrested on 5 July showed "she had not engaged in recent sexual intercourse".

He said the couple would be deported after they had been processed by the court.

Andrew Crossley, of London-based ACS Law, who has been representing Acors, said: "Vince says it hasn't sunk in yet. They are both chuffed. Vince can't believe it."

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