Dubai jail ruling 'proves we're innocent'

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A British woman who was spared jail today after being convicted of having sex on a Dubai beach said the ruling "proves our innocence".

Michelle Palmer, 36, of Oakham, Rutland, and Vince Acors, 34, of Bromley, south east London, had their three-month prison terms suspended on appeal.

The couple had been found guilty of having sex on Jumeirah Beach, hours after meeting at a champagne brunch at a five-star hotel.

Speaking after today's hearing at Dubai's Court of Appeal, Palmer said: "It just proves our innocence after all the bad stuff that was written. That's it."

The pair will now be deported and ordered to pay a fine of about £170.

They were arrested in the early hours of 5 July and convicted of public indecency and having unmarried sex last month.

They admitted a charge of being drunk in a public place.

Hassan Matter, who represented the couple in court today, said: "The judge has cancelled the jail. He refused the prosecution appeal (for the sentences to be increased). They are free."

Andrew Crossley, Acors' London-based solicitor, said it was likely the pair would return to the UK by the weekend.

He said Acors and Palmer were "chuffed" at today's decision.

"Vince says it hasn't sunk in yet," said Mr Crossley, of ACS Law.

"They are both chuffed. Vince can't believe it."

Palmer had been working in Dubai as a publishing executive but was sacked after the allegations emerged.

Acors was visiting the country at the time of their arrest.