10 years in jail for British journalist who killed his wife with a hammer in Dubai

61-year-old former Gulf News staff member earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge of premeditated murder

The facade of the the Dubai Courts. For illustrative purposes only.

Dubai: A British journalist who struck his wife with a hammer and killed her following a heated argument was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Sunday morning.

The 61-year-old British journalist, a former Gulf News staff member, had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge of premeditated murder before the Dubai Court of First Instance that found him guilty of killing his 63-year-old British wife.

Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi said the accused will spend 10 years in jail and then will be deported.

Prosecutors charged the defendant of intentionally killing his wife by hitting her twice on the forehead with a hammer at the house last July.

The 61-year-old defendant struck the victim in a fit of anger and without thinking, his lawyer Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi argued in court as he maintained that his client didn’t intend to kill his wife.

He was gripped by a sudden fit of “intense outrage” that was triggered by relentless provocation from his wife when he killed her, his lawyer said in court.

“The accusation sheet lacked any form of evidence, testimony or proof that the defendant had a premeditated intention to kill his wife.

“The victim started provoking, insulting and demeaning my client the previous night … despite his attempts to avoid her all night long, the victim repeatedly provoked him.

“He was under severe provocation and the assault happened in very few minutes. Her behaviour sent him into a state of distress and anger.

“He lost contro over himself, his actions and couldn’t realise the consequences of what he did,” lawyer Al Shamsi argued in court.

The incident happened around 7am on July 4 at the British couple’s villa in Umm Suqeim.

Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.


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