A British man facing jail for having sex on a Dubai beach with a sales executive from ITP Publishing admitted the offence before later changing his account, prosecutors said today.
Tourist Vince Acors, 34, from Bromley, south east London, initially told police he had full intercourse with fellow Briton Michelle Palmer, 36.
But he later deviated from his first statement and denied the crime, senior prosecutor Faisal Abdelmalek Ahli said.
Palmer, from Oakham, Leicestershire, and Acors were seen on a beach near the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel in the early hours of July 5.
She lost her job in the wake of the incident. ITP publishes around 60 magazines including English language Arab editions of Harper’s Bazaar and Time Out.
Ahli, of the Dubai Public Prosecution, said he was confident of proving the pair had sex.
“We have a very strong case,” he said today.
“We have DNA, medical reports and eyewitnesses. We also have his (Mr Acors) first statement, in which he admitted having sex with Michelle Palmer. He later denied this.”
Palmer and Acors, who are both on bail in Dubai, deny charges of public indecency and having unmarried sex but admit consuming alcohol.
They are due to appear before Dubai’s Court of First Instance tomorrow.
In a statement to the court at a previous hearing, Palmer said: “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.”
Ahli denied reports that they could face a maximum six-year sentence.
He said they were likely to be jailed for between six months and a year if found guilty, as well as being fined and deported.
Prosecutors said witnesses saw the couple cuddling for about 10 minutes on Jumeirah Beach before a police officer arrived at about 1am.
They had met earlier at a champagne brunch at the Le Meridien Hotel, close to Dubai Airport.
One of the witnesses, a 21-year-old Palestinian man, said: “I was with my friends on the beach when I saw the couple get out of a taxi and start kissing each other.”