Francis Matthew, former editor of the English-language Gulf News, had faced the possibility of the death penalty over the July 2017 killing.

A British newspaper editor in Dubai has been found guilty of bludgeoning his wife to death with a hammer and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The man will be deported after serving his jail term. 

Francis Matthew was not present in the Dubai Court of the First Instance for the verdict read by Judge Fahad al-Shamsi, which is common in courts in the United Arab Emirates.

On 4 July 2017, Dubai police say they were called to Matthew’s three-bedroom villa in Dubai’s Jumeirah neighbourhood. There, they say they found his wife of over 30 years dead, and the editor told them robbers had broken into the home and killed her.

During a later interrogation, however, police say Matthew told them his wife had grown angry with him because they were in debt and needed to move. Matthew said he got angry following an argument with his wife, and after she called him a “loser”.  Matthew told police his wife pushed him during the argument. He then got a hammer, followed her into the bedroom and struck her twice in the head, killing her, in a fit of rage. 

Gulf News has confirmed that Francis Matthew served as its editor from 1995-2005, and then became an editor-at-large at the newspaper.