Dubai A British editor had his 10-year imprisonment stiffened to 15 years in jail after Dubai’s Appeal Court found him guilty of the charge of premeditated murder of his wife in Dubai.
Pronouncing the appellate ruling on Sunday morning in Courtroom No. 20, presiding Judge Eisa Al Sharif overturned the primary ruling of 10 years in jail against the charge of fatal beating, and sentenced 62-year-old Francis Matthew to 15 years in jail followed by deportation.
Presiding Judge Al Sharif told Gulf News following the hearing that the bench of appellate judges deemed the case as “premeditated murder” and jailed the defendant to 15 years.
“He did not preplan to murder the victim but after she pushed him in the kitchen of their residence and insulted him, the accused decided right that moment to kill her when he grabbed the hammer and struck her on the head while she was on the bed. The court deemed his action as an act of premeditated murder — but not that he had preplanned it in advance,” presiding judge Al Sharif told Gulf News.
In March, the primary court convicted Matthew, a former Gulf News staffer, of beating his wife to death and handed him a 10-year imprisonment.
Matthew appealed the lower cort's ruling, and sought a lower punishment while prosecutors also appealed the primary judgement and sought a tougher punishment.
On Sunday, the Dubai Appeal Court stiffened the punishment.
The British journalist had struck his wife’s head with a hammer twice and killed her in July 2017.
The appellate court's ruling remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 30 days.