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Mon 10 Sep 2018 09:48 AM

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Former Gulf News editor temporarily insane when he murdered his wife, court hears

A forensic expert testified to the Dubai Court of Appeal that Francis Matthew was not aware of his actions when he struck his wife with a hammer and killed her

Former Gulf News editor temporarily insane when he murdered his wife, court hears

Former Gulf News editor Francis Matthew was suffering from stress-induced temporary insanity when he murdered his wife last year, a forensic expert testified on Sunday.

According to various local media reports, forensic expert Dr Muna Al Juhary testified to the Dubai Court of Appeal that Matthew, now 62, was not aware of his actions when he struck his wife with a hammer following a heated argument over their finances in July 2017.

“Due to severe pressure and emotional stress he suffered from temporary insanity, which means that his logic and mental abilities were shut down and he lost all ability to distinguish right from wrong,” Dr. Al Juhary is quoted as saying in the National.

Additionally, Dr Al Juhary noted that forensic reports indicate that Matthews struck his wife with the hammer once, not twice as was initially indicated during the investigation. She noted that the blow was perceived as two injuries because the hammer’s bell and claw caused two separate injuries.

In March, Matthew was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the incident, for which he pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder.

Matthew’s attorneys appealed the following month, calling on the sentence to be reduced.

The well-known former editor had originally told police that their home was broken into by robbers, who killed his wife. At a later interrogation, he confessed that the couple had a heated argument over finances. He also claimed his wife pushed him and called him a “loser”, after which he followed her into the bedroom and struck her twice on her head with a hammer, according to a police report.