A bit over a year after former British editor-at-large at Dubai's leading English daily Gulf News confessed to killing his wife unintentionally, Francis Matthew's jail term has been extended to 15 years.
The former editor was convicted on charges of murder. In March, Matthew was found guilty of killing his wife after throwing a hammer at her, months after pleading "not guilty" before a Dubai courtroom. His initial prison sentence included 10 years of jail time.
"During the prosecution's investigation, the defendant admitted to assaulting his wife, and throwing a hammer at her, saying he never meant to kill her," Dubai Police said in a statement, according to The National.
On Sunday, after both sides appealed the decision, the Dubai Court of Appeal announced the verdict, which included an upgrade to "Matthew's manslaughter conviction to premeditated murder," according to The Independent.
"Sentence extended to 15 years"
The former editor of Gulf News had previously faced the possibility of a death sentence. In 2017, the Dubai Public Prosecution said it will seek the death penalty.
That same year, Matthew's lawyer Ali al-Shamsi said he aims to reduce the man's sentence to a minimum, according to AP.
However, the Dubai Court of Appeals is not ruling in Matthews' favor.
Peter Manning, the wife's brother, embraced the recent ruling, saying the initial prison sentence would have been a "terrible injustice."
"Jane is very much missed by her family and all her many friends and the previous low sentence was very upsetting for all of us," said Manning, according to The Independent.
Matthew had been working as a journalist in the Gulf since the 1980s. He was formerly the editor of Gulf News from 1995 to 2005. After stepping down as editor, he continued to write regularly for the paper, including a weekly column. He was also a regular commentator on Gulf TV channels.
"They were an extremely devoted couple ... I have no idea what happened. Everybody is speculating," Nirmala Janssen, who helped launch a newspaper called Xpress with Matthew, told The Daily Mail.