Dubai: A British editor, currently serving a 15-year imprisonment for premeditated killing of his wife in July 2017, has challenged his sentence and is scheduled to appear before Dubai’s highest court soon.
Last month, the Dubai Court of Appeal overturned the 10-year imprisonment against Francis Matthew, 62, and lengthened his sentence to 15 years in jail, after convicting him of premeditatedly murdering his 63-year-old compatriot wife in the couple’s residence in Umm Suqueim.
In March, the Dubai Court of First Instance had sentenced Matthew, a former Gulf News staff, to 10 years in jail, modifying his initial charge of premeditated murder into beating that led to death of his wife.
The primary court convicted him of hitting his wife twice on her forehead with a hammer.
Earlier this week, the British defendant challenged his appellate judgement before the Dubai Cassation Court and is seeking to overturn the ruling and seek a reduced punishment.
In October, the Appeal Court overturned the primary ruling after the judges’ panel deemed the case as “premeditated murder”.
According to the appellate judgement sheet, Mathew decided to kill his wife “instantly” following a heated argument between them over his financial situation. He did not “pre-plan or prepare” in advance to murder her, the verdict found.
The verdict sheet read that it was a “fit of instant and sudden anger” that pushed Matthew to grab the hammer, follow his wife into the bedroom and strike her on the head after she had pushed him in the kitchen and called him names, thus provoking him.
The accused, who had pleaded not guilty, will be deported following the completion of his punishment.
The Court of Appeal remodified the accusation to the primary one [premeditated murder]; however, the bench of three judges handed the defendant a reduced imprisonment of 15 years instead of capital punishment or life sentence as per the Penal Code’s article 98.
A hearing before the Cassation Court is expected to be scheduled later this month.