Former Dubai editor who killed his wife has jail sentence reduced to seven years

Francis Matthew was found guilty of hitting his wife on the head with a hammer and killing her in July 2017

Former Dubai newspaper editor Francis Matthew, who has been convicted of killing his wife Jane Matthew, has had his jail sentence reduced from 15 to  seven years, a Dubai court ruled on Wednesday.

The Dubai appeals court gave its final ruling against the 63-year-old British expat after a new panel of judges heard the case.

The new ruling can now be challenged at the Dubai highest court – the Court of Cassation.

Matthew was found guilty of hitting his wife on the head with a hammer and killing her on July 3, 2017, following an argument about their finances.

He was handed a 10-year prison sentence by the Dubai criminal court in March 2018, after being convicted of “physical assault leading to death”.

His sentence was increased from 10 to 15 years by the appeals court in October, under the charge of premeditated murder.

However, in December, Dubai’s Court of Cassation overturned the 15-year jail sentence handed to Matthew and ordered a retrial.

Matthew’s defence team argued that since Jane Matthew’s father passed away in March and her son has dropped the charges against his father, the accused should be freed or serve a lighter sentence.

Francis Matthew had been married to his wife 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.

Also read: Dubai editor case: Francis Matthew had debts of over Dhs1m – report