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Overcrowding, disease and malnutrition' await Dubai beach sex couple

PUBLISHED: 18:30 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 August 2010

A FATHER jailed for having sex on Dubai beach could face months of overcrowding, disease and malnutrition, according to a humanitarian charity. It is believed businessman Vince Acors, 34, of Homesdale Road, Bromley, will go to Dubai s tough, over-popula

A FATHER jailed for having sex on Dubai beach could face months of overcrowding, disease and malnutrition, according to a humanitarian charity.

It is believed businessman Vince Acors, 34, of Homesdale Road, Bromley, will go to Dubai's tough, over-populated Jumeirah prison where there have been HIV epidemics and riots.

Mr Acors was jailed for three months along with fellow Brit Michelle Palmer, 36, after a judge found them both guilty of indecent exposure and sex before marriage last Thursday.

The pair were also fined £200 for drunkenness and ordered to be deported from Dubai on their release.

Father-of-one Mr Acors said he is "devastated" by the sentence and is appealing, it was confirmed on Monday.

Chief executive of charity Prisoners Abroad, Pauline Crow, said: "Spending time in prison overseas is difficult for anyone. People commonly face appalling overcrowding, small amounts of food with little nutritional value and sometimes no access to clean water.

"Medical problems can be left untreated and without access to our medical grants and other support, people's health would dangerously deteriorate.

"The plight of this unfortunate couple should serve as a stark warning to anybody travelling overseas, especially to countries in the Middle East.

"As this case illustrates, what may seem like an innocent act or misdemeanor in the UK can often land people in serious trouble when abroad. Whether on holiday or away on business it is crucial that Britons are fully aware of local laws and customs and that they respect and adhere to these. Ignorance will not be accepted as an excuse by local courts."

Mr Acors' UK lawyer, Andrew Crossley, called the verdict "severe and unnecessary".

He said: "My client readily recognises the need to observe the local laws and customs, but believes that his brief and innocent encounter with Michelle Palmer should not be utilised to determine these moral dilemmas to the detriment of himself and Michelle."

But the punishment was welcomed by many Dubai residents who were angry at the flouting of their laws.

Public shows of affection are banned in the United Arab Emirates, where over 90 per cent of the population are foreigners.

It had been feared that the couple, who met at an 'all you can eat and drink' brunch earlier that day, could be jailed for up to six years.

Lawyer Mohammed Saleh Kheor, who has represented people charged with public indecency and drunken and disorderly behaviour, but did not represent Palmer and Acors, called the sentences "harsh".

He has warned Palmer and Acors against appealing because it could lead to tougher sentences. The first hearing for the appeal is due to take place on November 18.

Do you know Vince Acors? What do you think about his sentence? Call Kate Nelson on 0208 269 7013.

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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