Sentence reduced for UK newspaper editor convicted of killing wife in Dubai

A British newspaper editor convicted of killing his wife with a hammer has seen his sentence reduced by Dubai’s Court of Appeal.

The court ordered that former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew must serve a seven-year sentence for manslaughter in the 2017 killing of his wife, Jane.

Matthew had received as much as a 15-year sentence for the killing.

A series of appeals has seen his sentence change and his case go before Dubai’s Court of Appeal.

Matthew’s lawyer Ali al-Shamsi had previously asked the court to reduce his client’s sentence to two years in prison, saying evidence proves the crime was not premeditated and Matthew had no previous intent to kill.

On Wednesday, the court changed Matthew’s charge to manslaughter but reduced the sentence to seven years rather than two, followed by deportation.

Such a charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years under UAE law.

Jane’s brother, Peter Manning, accused Dubai’s laws of being “male-biased” and said his sister’s voice was never going to be heard.

“Dubai judges clearly preferred to defend Francis’s pride rather than Jane’s life,” Mr Manning told The Associated Press after Wednesday’s sentencing.

Matthew’s son previously dropped charges against him, and his wife’s father — Jane’s only other next-of-kin — died earlier this year.

According to law in the United Arab Emirates, a sentence can be reduced if a victim’s next of kin waives their right to press charges.

Matthew and his wife of 30 years were prominent members of the United Arab Emirates’ large British expatriate community.