The jail sentence handed to former Dubai newspaper editor Francis Matthew has been increased from 10 to 15 years for killing his wife, according to a higher court judgement.
The Dubai appeals court convicted the 62-year-old British national of premeditated murder for hitting his wife on the head with a hammer and killing her, The National reported.
The incident happened on July 3 last year.
Matthew, who was handed a 10-year prison sentence by the Dubai criminal court in March, was appealing for a reduced jail term after claiming that he was suffering from ‘temporary insanity’ triggered by ‘emotional stress’.
However, the higher court rejected his appeal, saying evidence showed that he had intended to kill his wife, the The National said.
“The accused lawyer’s claim of the incident being an assault that lead to death is overlooked by the court as it is merely an argument,” the report quoted the presiding judge as saying.
The British expat had been married to his wife Jane Matthew for more than 32 years.
He called the police after hitting and killing her in the heat of an argument about their finances and claimed burglars were responsible for the assault.
However, Matthew later “confessed” to the Dubai Police that he committed the murder because of marital issues.
On Sunday, the victim’s brother Peter Manning, told The National that the family was satisfied with the new ruling.
“We are pleased that the Dubai court has taken account of the actual evidence rather that the hearsay and found that Jane was a victim of a premeditated murder,” he said.
“The increase in Matthew’s sentence is welcome. Jane is very much missed by our family and all her many friends and the previous low sentence was very upsetting for all of us.”
The case will now move to the cessation court, which will review the legal procedures.
Francis Matthew was serving as the editor-at-large of local daily Gulf News at the time of the crime.