Francis Matthew
Francis Matthew, editor-at-large for the Gulf News has been charged with the murder of his wifeLinkedin/Francis Matthew

A newspaper editor confessed to accidentally killing his wife by throwing a hammer at her, police in Dubai have said.

The UAE government said that Francis Matthew, 60, who was editor-at-large for the Gulf News had told police that his wife had been killed by people who had broken into their house in the wealthy Jumeirah area of the Emirate on 4 July.

Police arrived at the house to find his wife Jane, 62, badly injured.

In a statement, the UAE government said that an examination found that she had died from a blow to the head.

After the initial story that she had been attacked by burglars, Matthew "admitted to the police that he carried out the crime" and "also admitted to assaulting his wife by throwing a hammer at her but he said he did not mean to kill her".

"The public prosecutor has charged the husband with premeditated murder in accordance with the federal penal code, and investigations continue in this case," the government said, according to the Telegraph.

The couple had lived in Dubai for nearly three decades and the killing has shocked the British expatriate community in the UAE where he was well connected, the Telegraph reported.

In an image posted on his Facebook account shows him shaking hands with the ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.