A British businessman and his woman acquaintance face six years in jail for sex on a Dubai beach.
A police officer caught them together on the beach after an all-day drinking binge and warned them once to little effect before returning later and arresting them.
They are both now facing trial and could be jailed for anything between three months and six years in the Arab state, which is known for its strict stance on sex and drugs.
The two are out on bail at the moment. There is no knowing when the trial will commence. But they cannot leave the country unless the police are through with their investigations.
Telecoms boss Vince Acors, 34, a father-of-one from Kent, is understood to have been in the Middle East on business.
Friends say he and Michelle Palmer, 36, had met for the first time only at a boozy brunch before the beach binge.
They were so drunk when they went off together that they could remember little about what happened.
'Michelle and Vince were absolutely hammered when arrested - it's hardly surprising they can't remember a thing,' one told the Sun.
'No one would have turned a hair about that kind of behaviour elsewhere, but they made a very grave misjudgement doing it in a Muslim country.
'They woke up in police cells with monster hangovers, facing six years in jail. Vince is beside himself with worry - he never intended to offend anyone. And Michelle is absolutely devastated.'
To compound their problems, there seems to be little support for either of them back home, the media delighting in railing against them for their stupidity and insensitivity.
And Palmer has already lost her job with ITP Publishing. A spokesman said that Palmer had been advised of the strict customs in the Muslim emirate upon joining the company.
'ITP, which employs some 600 staff representing over 20 nationalities in its Dubai-based operations, expects its staff to behave appropriately and properly in a manner consistent with the moral and cultural values of the society in which we all live and work.
'Following an internal review of this incident, the company has dismissed Miss Palmer. The whole thing is wholly regrettable.'
Palmer, who is said to have collapsed in tears at the news of her sacking and now to be 'close to despair,' has begged for clemency ahead of her forthcoming trial.
'We have all made silly regretful mistakes in life, of which some pay all too dearly,' she said.
'I am good, I am kind and I am true. The fear I feel each time I close my eyes fills my heart with dread.'
Writing in an online blog in response to a debate about the couple's antics, she said: 'There are a lot of wrong rumours circulating around, which at this crucial time are very damaging to me, those close to me and my case.
'Please be sympathetic for the sake of those I love, if this were you, your sister/brother, your daughter/son, how would you really be feeling?'
It was last Friday when police caught Palmer and Acors having sex on a beach popular with expatriates s and holidaymakers, reports Daily Mail.
They had met hours earlier at a champagne brunch at Le Meridien Hotel where Miss Palmer got extremely drunk before going for a walk along the shore with her companion.
A police officer later spotted the pair having sex on the sand and let them off with a caution but the pair ignored the warning and were arrested when the officer returned to the scene.
According to police sources, Palmer, originally from Oakham, Leicester, launched an angry tirade at the officer upon being disturbed for a second time.
She is alleged to have hurled abuse and tried to hit him with her high-heeled shoe before being restrained and taken to a cell.
There she was charged with having sex outside marriage, indecent behaviour in public, being drunk in public and assaulting a police officer.
Authorities under growing pressure to curb the excesses of westerners plan to deport Miss Palmer at the end of her sentence.
In the desperate hope of getting a lesser punishment, the pair considered marrying after they were granted bail, but had second thoughts.
It is not known when they will face court again.
Palmer said: 'We are in so much trouble and my family and everybody are affected....
"I'm panicking - my mum is on antidepressants.
'Because this is known everywhere they're going to make an example of us and we're going to get a higher sentence,' she told the Sun.
Friends and colleagues of Miss Palmer described her as a 'good-time girl who is always out to party'.
They said that most weekends, she could be seen downing cocktails and dancing in one of Dubai's lively nightclubs.
One former colleague said: 'She is always getting hammered at these brunches, then she goes out clubbing.
'Every Friday, she's out on the dance-floor - drunk, loud, raucous and completely out of control.
'People come to Dubai because it has a 18-30 holiday vibe where young professionals enjoy casual sex and binge drinking in the sunshine and sales staff like her are the worst offenders.'
A friend of Palmer said: 'She's a good girl, just fun-loving. God only knows how she must have felt when she sobered up.
'She went out with a group of friends and workmates to the champagne brunch party.
'The booze was flowing all day and she must have got carried away by the time she met Vince - a pal of one of her workmates.
'The jails out here have a terrible reputation and Michelle's praying they go easy on her.....'