It was sex on the beach, literally, for a British woman in Dubai. Now Michelle Palmer, 30, faces up to six years in jail for breaching the country’s ban on sex outside marriage, and for indecent behaviour.
Palmer became the subject of fascination, disgust and anger around the world this week after she expressed remorse and begged for leniency.
Said Palmer: “T hey’re going to make an example of us and we’re going to get a higher sentence. We are in so much trouble and my family and everybody are affected.
“They are being pushed into a corner to make an example of us. ”
Palmer and fellow Briton Vince Acors, 34, were arrested last Friday after having sex on the beach after a pub crawl.
The couple had only met that evening.
Acors, dubbed “Vince Charming” because of his success with women, had travelled to Dubai on business.
UK tabloid The Sun reported that the couple had first been spotted having sex in the sand by a policeman — who let them off with a warning.
But they were arrested when he returned later to find them still at it.
Palmer — who has been living and working in the United Arab Emirates for the past three years — allegedly swore at the policeman and attacked him with a shoe when he tried to arrest her.
Sex outside marriage is an offence in Dubai, one of the seven states that make up the UAE.
Palmer and Acors face between three months and six years in jail if convicted.
A friend called her a “nice girl who’s made a very big mistake”, but The Sun said Palmer was known in Dubai for her drunken antics.
A former flatmate said: “When she got drunk, she got a bit wild. And she got drunk quite a lot.
“She would be over-friendly, grabbing people inappropriately. She would even grab hold of women’s boobs.
“She was always talking about sex and guys she had been with. She was vulgar about it. I’m not shocked she had sex with a stranger, but I’m surprised she was stupid enough to get caught.”
A colleague agreed: “She should know better. She’s been out here three and a half years. She is out every week and is often drunk.”
Palmer was fired from her R400 000-a-year tax-free job at a magazine publishing company following her arrest. — Sunday Times Foreign Desk