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Dubai journalist who killed wife may walk free because he was 'provoked'

Francis Matthew was initially jailed for 15 years over his wife's killing [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2019

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A British journalist who bludgeoned his wife to death at their Dubai home may walk free after having served just two years of a 15-year sentence.


A British editor who killed his wife in Dubai could walk free from court later this week after having served just two years of his 15-year sentence.

Lawyers for former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew, 63, will argue that the British expat killed his wife Jane, 62, in a fit of rage after she allegedly called him a "loser". 

Jane's brother, Peter Manning, says authorities in the UAE may pin the blame for the killing on his sister, as women in the country are not allowed to insult their husbands.

"It is grotesque to suggest that Jane insulted Francis and this means she somehow brought about her own death," Manning said earlier this week.

"The truth is that in places like UAE women are subservient, need to be obedient and can be beaten," he added.

Matthew killed his wife of 35 years after they reportedly rowed over their mounting debts, which had reached the region of £200,000 ( $240,000).

The former Economist journalist killed with a hammer he had  taken from the house's kitchen.
Francis Matthew [L] claims he killed his wife Jane [L] 
after being 'provoked' [Facebook]

Matthew went to work as normal that day, calling police to the scene only once he had returned home. He admitted to bludgeoning his wife to death while she lay in bed after having initially claimed that she was attacked by robbers.

Following the death of Matthew's father-in-law in March, the convicted killer's chances for early release dramatically improved.

In the UAE, private law claims can be made by a deceased victim's legal heirs. Jane Matthew had only two legal heirs - her now deceased father and her son. Jane's son, however, had waived his right to pursue legal proceedings.

With all private claims against Matthew now dropped, Emirati authorities may still impose a punishment as a public matter, but with a shorter term.

Matthew is expected to be released and deported from the UAE after his hearing on Wednesday.

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