Briton who killed wife with hammer in Dubai to appeal against prison sentence
The family of Jane Matthew said they are ‘very upset’ that Francis Matthew is trying to get his sentence reduced.
A husband who killed his wife with a hammer in Dubai is appealing for his 10-year jail sentence to be reduced, the victim’s family has said.
British newspaper editor Francis Matthew was found guilty in the Emirate of killing his 62-year-old wife Jane Matthew on July 4 last year.
Matthew initially told police that robbers had broken into their villa and killed his wife of 30 years, but during a later interrogation he allegedly said there had been an argument over money.
He was reportedly convicted of assault leading to death, and not of murder, following representations by his lawyer.
The family of Jane Matthew said in a statement that they were “very upset” that her husband was appealing against the sentence, and that women should be “deeply worried” by the case.
They want the court of appeal to overturn the original verdict in a bid for a harsher sentence.
Matthew, who is the former editor of the English-language Gulf News, and who had lived in east London with his wife before emigrating to Dubai, was sentenced in March.
He had allegedly told police officers that his wife had grown angry with him because they were in debt and needed to move, and his temper rose when his wife called him a “loser” and told him “you should provide financially”.
This verdict says that, just by having a common domestic argument with her husband, Jane was responsible for provoking her own death. Jane Matthew's family
He claimed his wife pushed him during the argument and he then got a hammer, followed her into the bedroom and struck her twice in the head, killing her, according to a police report.
In a statement, the victim’s family said: “Jane’s family is very upset that Francis Matthew has appealed to further reduce his sentence after he killed Jane with a hammer.
“We want the court of appeal to overturn the original verdict.
“Women, in particular, should be deeply worried.
“This verdict says that, just by having a common domestic argument with her husband, Jane was responsible for provoking her own death.
“The court’s finding is also deeply unfair to Jane because, while Matthew has apparently had his defence of provocation considered by the court, he has at the same time benefited from having ensured Jane couldn’t defend herself against his claims.”
They said they were concerned that Matthew’s sentence should not be reduced further.
The statement continued: “The court also seems to be saying that Jane’s death was unintentional.
“But of all the items that Matthew could have picked up during the alleged argument, he chose a hammer.
“By his own description, he collected the hammer in the kitchen and carried it down two corridors of the house to the bedroom.
“Why would he do that?
“It is also not believable that Matthew, who is over six feet tall, did not think he would kill Jane if he gave her two very hard blows to the face with the hammer.”