Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Jane's family speaks out after court sentences Francis Matthew to seven years in jail

Peter Manning says Matthew showed intention to kill his sister when he beat her to death with a hammer in 2017

Jane Matthew. Courtesy of Peter Manning via AP
Jane Matthew. Courtesy of Peter Manning via AP

The family of Jane Matthew, who was killed by her husband Francis two years ago, have said the fatal assault charge levelled against the former editor suggests her death was “an accident”.

On Wednesday, Dubai Court of Appeal sentenced Matthew, 63, to seven years in prison followed by deportation for beating his wife to death with a hammer on July 3, 2017.

The conviction was not revealed by court records but, throughout the trial, Matthew’s charge has swapped between premeditated murder and fatal assault.

Peter Manning, Jane’s brother, said Matthew’s admission to police, after his arrest, indicated his intention to kill. Matthew told police he and his wife had argued about money on the night of her death and she called him a “loser”. He responded by grabbing a hammer from the kitchen of their Umm Suqeim home, following her to their bedroom and hitting her twice on the head with it. He reported the incident to police the next day, claiming their flat had been robbed.

“Calling this ‘an assault that led to death’ suggests this was some kind of accident,” Mr Manning told The National on Thursday.

“How can this killing be anything other than intentional when the hammer was carried so far, when Jane was defenceless on the bed, and when he put a 9x10cm hole in Jane’s head?”

Matthew’s defence lawyer and prosecutors have 30 days from the date the verdict was issued to ask for the case to be reviewed by the Cassation Court again.

If the case is seen by the Cassation Court for a second time, the court will review all aspects of the case, including legal proceedings, and issue Matthew’s final judgment.

Updated: November 28, 2019 08:36 PM

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