Former Gulf News editor denies premeditated murder

Francis Matthew was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison for murdering his wife

Former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew has denied the premeditated murder of his wife at Dubai’s Court of Appeal, according to reports.

Dubai Criminal Court in March sentenced the British expat to 10 years in prison for murdering his wife.

Read: Former Gulf News editor sentenced to 10 years for killing wife

He told the appeal court on Sunday, “I’m not guilty”, according to The National.

Matthew’s lawyer Ali Al Shamsi told the court he needed more time to prepare a defence. The court to rescheduled the hearing to July 1.

The 61-year-old was convicted of killing his wife Jane at their Umm Suqeim home on July 3 last year.

He was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by deportation, a verdict Jane Matthew’s family said they found disappointing and hoped would be changed on appeal.

Matthew has appealed the ruling and prosecutors have also appealed to seek the death sentence.

The case is based on Matthew’s actions on July 4, when he called Dubai Police at 5:45pm saying thieves had assaulted his wife while he was at work.

He later admitted to hitting her on the head twice with a hammer but said he was provoked after the two argued over financial difficulties.

On the day of the murder, the defendant said he was woken by his wife at 7:00am, who followed him into a kitchen and called him a loser, according to reports.

In a state of anger he picked up a hammer from a kitchen shelf and followed her into the bedroom where he hit her twice on the forehead, he said.

Matthews then panicked and faked a robbery before leaving to go to work, according to reports.

The two were married for more than 32 years.