Et britisk par risikerer seks års fengsel for å ha nytt alkohol og hatt sex på offentlig sted. Det offentlige stedet var stranda like ved berømte Burj Al Arab-hotellet, og det var slett ikke «sex», men kyssing, sier Michelle Palmer. Hun har bodd to år i Dubai og kjenner reglene, sier hun.

Det er nok det at man viser seg offentlig som er det mest provoserende, kan det virke som. Da løper fantasien helt løpsk. Vitner sier at de hadde samleie ti meter fra andre mennesker.

Palmer sier hun har fått sitt liv ødelagt av saken.

Michelle Palmer, 36, a publishing executive who had lived in Dubai for over two years, and Vince Acors, 34, a tourist, were allegedly caught by a police officer having sex in public on July 5 after meeting at a brunch.

The pair face up to six years in prison if they are convicted of indecent behaviour, having unmarried sex and having consumed alcohol.

The couple were summoned to appear before Dubai’s Court of First Instance yesterday in a hurried hearing organised in a bid to ward off the intense media interest the case has generated both in the Muslim country and abroad.

They admitted consuming alcohol but denied the other offences. Legal sources said that unusually, they have opted to represent themselves in the case.

Miss Palmer, from Oakham, Rutland, arrived dressed in a black trouser suit with an Arab-style scarf around her neck.

In a statement, she told Judge Hamad Abdul Latif: «We were just kissing and hugging. We didn’t have sex together. I was lying on top of him. I have been in Dubai for two-and-a-half years without committing any kind of offence. I’m sorry.»

Witnesses statements submitted to the court told how the couple canoodled on the public beach close to Dubai’s landmark the Burj Al Arab hotel for around ten minutes until police arrived at around 1am.

Couple accused of having sex on Dubai beach ‘were just kissing’