British man killed wife with hammer in Dubai 'after she called him a loser'

Former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew avoids death penalty over killing in sentence handed down by Emirati court 

Tom Barnes
Sunday 25 March 2018 16:29
Comments
Former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew has been jailed over his wife's killing
Former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew has been jailed over his wife's killing

A British journalist has been jailed for 10 years for beating his wife to death with a hammer at their Dubai home.

Francis Matthew was sentenced in absence at the Dubai Court of the First Instance on Sunday after being found guilty of killing his 62-year-old wife Jane Matthew in July last year.

The former editor of English-language publication Gulf News had faced the possibility of the death penalty over the incident.

Matthew initially told police that burglars had broken into the couple’s three-bedroom villa in the upmarket Jumeriah neighbourhood and killed his wife of 30 years.

Jane Matthew was beaten to death by her husband in July 2017

However, he later capitulated under interrogation, allegedly telling officers Mrs Matthew had grown angry with him because they were in debt and needed to move.

The journalist then lost his temper after she called him a "loser" and told him "you should provide financially", police said.

A report by Emirati investigators detailed how Matthew fetched a hammer after his wife had pushed him, following her into their bedroom and striking her twice in the head with blows that proved to be fatal.

The 61-year-old had faced a charge of premeditated murder, but his lawyers maintained he never intended to kill Mrs Matthew and was instead acting in a sudden fit of “intense outrage”.

It is not clear from trial judge Fahad al-Shamsi’s verdict whether or not the court accepted this defence.

A statement released by Mrs Matthew’s family following the sentencing said relatives believed "justice has not yet been done", announcing their intention to appeal the ruling.

"Jane was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt," the statement said: "Losing her in such a brutal manner has left the family both bewildered and shocked.

"We attended the Dubai Courts today, and our family has been saddened by the sentence given to Francis Matthew, Jane's killer.

"We feel that justice has not yet been done as we realise that the actual sentence served may be less than the 10-year sentence. We hope that this sentence is changed on appeal."

Matthew served at the editor of Gulf News between 1995 and 2005 and had continued to write regularly for the daily after stepping down, contributing a weekly column, while also appearing as a commentator on television.

The Matthews had married in Chippenham, Wiltshire in 1985.

Additional reporting by PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in