'Sex on beach' trial adjourned

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The trial of a British man and woman accused of having sex on a Dubai beach was adjourned for a month today.

Vince Acors, 34, of Bromley, south east London, and Michelle Palmer, 36, of Oakham, Rutland, deny offences of unmarried intercourse and public indecency.

Their case was listed at Dubai's Court of First Instance this morning but was adjourned until 7 October, their lawyer, Hassan Matter, said.

Mr Matter said Ms Palmer had not attended today's proceedings because she was "not well". He would not go into further details of her illness.

"Michelle did not come today because she is not well," he said.

The policeman who arrested the pair had been due to give evidence but did not arrive at court.

Mr Matter said the officer would attend the next hearing.

In a statement, the officer described seeing the couple in a passionate embrace on Jumeirah Beach.

"Her shirt was off and she was sitting on him and their voices were excited," he said.

"They didn't even notice me standing there. He was kissing and playing with her chest.

"I shone my torch on them and said 'Excuse me'. It was then they noticed me."

They were arrested hours after meeting at a £60 all-you-can-drink champagne brunch at the Le Meridien hotel on the emirate.

Prosecutors say the case against them is based on DNA samples, medical examinations and eyewitness reports, as well as Mr Acors' initial statement to police.

Senior prosecutor Faisal Abdelmalek Ahli claimed the telecoms firm director initially admitted having sex, before later changing his account.

But Mr Matter, who is representing the pair, said they had consistently protested their innocence and would be cleared of the offences.

He said medical tests failed to prove they had sex and added that witness accounts, including the statement from the officer, were "wrong".

Mr Matter said he did not expect any verdicts at the next court appearance.