London - The family of a British expat murdered by her husband in Dubai say ‘justice has not been done’ after he was jailed for just ten years.
British journalist Francis Matthew was found guilty of bludgeoning his wife Jane, 62, to death with a hammer in their upscale villa last July. He initially tried to cover up the killing, leaving her body overnight and staging a robbery after calling police.
The ex-editor of the English-language Gulf News, 61, had faced the possibility of the death penalty but yesterday a Dubai court sentenced him to ten years and said he will be deported after.In a statement afterwards, the victim’s ‘shocked and bewildered’ family said: ‘We feel that justice has not yet been done as we realise that the actual sentence served may be less. We hope that this sentence is changed on appeal.’ On July 4, a day after the murder, Matthew called police to the couple’s three-bedroom villa in the wealthy Jumeirah coastal suburb. They found the body of his wife of more than 30 years in bed, where Matthew told them robbers broke in and killed her.
But detectives became suspicious of his strangely ‘calm’ demeanour. Under interrogation Matthew then told them his wife had grown angry because they were in debt and had to move.
He said he lost his temper when his wife, an English teacher, shoved him, calling him a ‘loser’ and telling him ‘you should provide financially’, according to police reports. He then got a hammer, followed Mrs Matthew into the bedroom and smashed her twice in the head.
The next morning, Matthew tried to make it look like the house had been robbed and went to work like nothing had happened, throwing the hammer –wrapped in a plastic bag – in a nearby rubbish bin.
Mrs Matthew’s family argue such actions show the killing was a ‘deliberate act’. They said: ‘In the defendant’s own version of events, he collected the murder weapon, a hammer, in the kitchen and carried it down two corridors of the house to the bedroom.
‘There was time for him to consider his actions – instead he delivered two hammer blows to the front of Jane’s head.’
The couple were well-known members of Dubai’s large British expat community, where Matthew, originally from Hampshire, was part of a local sailing club.