x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

15 years jail for Kerry Winter murder

A man found guilty of murdering South African executive Kerry Winter has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Kerry Winter
Kerry Winter

A British operations manager was found guilty of murdering South African executive Kerry Winter but escaped the death penalty in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance today. MA was found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to 15 years in jail. He will then be deported. MAs lawyer Yousif Hammad said after the verdict that he will file an appeal as soon as he receives a copy of the judgment. "Now the involvement of the family is over as their case has been referred to the civil court, now the focus will be on the appeal," he said. The trial saw MA, a British former operations director, accused of two versions of the crime: one in which he dumped Ms Winter's body at sea and one in which he buried it in the desert. Since her disappearance almost two years ago, there have been a door-to-door sweep of the southern end of Dubai, a Facebook campaign with almost 7,000 members, a media campaign that included all the local press and some international press and the involvement of British, South African and UAE authorities. "I thought he'd own up, but he didn't. What can I say?" Ms Winter's mother, Carol, said from her home in Durban, South Africa. Prosecutors claim that MA, Ms Winter's ex-boyfriend, stalked her for days before bludgeoning her with a baseball bat. He was arrested five days after she went missing on August 20, 2008, and was charged with premeditated murder. Officials said he stuffed Ms Winter's body in a suitcase, added some weights and dumped it into the sea. Ms Winter, 36, was last seen outside her villa in Al Barsha. Neighbours told prosecutors they saw MA beating her with a baseball bat before dragging her into a car and driving away.

amustafa@thenational.ae