Samantha Jones was in tears on Monday, August 3, when she was sentenced by a court in Kedah, Malaysia. She had been awaiting her sentence for fatally stabbing her husband to death on October 18, 2018. Instead of being found guilty for murder, Samantha pleaded guilty to culpable homicide. The court heard that she was in a physically abusive relationship and her actions were in self-defence. Samantha will be serving the 42-month sentence in Malaysia with a chance of an early release.

Malaysian police found a 30-centimetre-long knife in the couple's home on the island of Langkawi in October 2018. The discovery of the murder weapon was made after British man John Jones had been fatally stabbed. Samantha was arrested on the suspicion of murder. After the arrest, she confessed to stabbing John in the chest as an act of self-defence.

Samantha, originally from Somerset, claimed that over the 17 years of their marriage, her husband had been violent towards her. Even though she offered her support in seeking help, he continued to be abusive towards her. On the night of the stabbing, the couple had been having a tiff which led to physical violence, according to the accused.

Since her confession, Samantha had been jailed in a Malaysian prison awaiting trial. In Malaysia, the death penalty is handed out to those found guilty of murder, drug trafficking, treason, and waging war against the constitutional monarch, King Yang-di-Pertuan Agong.

The court did not find Samantha guilty of murder. She was sentenced for the lesser offence of culpable homicide. Speaking to Sky News, Samantha's lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo said that the court understood the events of the night leading to John's death.

Deo confirmed that Samantha had been sentenced to 42-months in prison, of which she has served 20-months awaiting trial. Deo pointed out that due to good conduct she could also secure an early release. Samantha also had to pay a fine of 10,000 ringgit (£1,815).

Samantha and John had moved to Malaysia around 11 years ago. The "Malaysia My Second Home" programme allowed the couple to move to the country on long-staying visas. It is unclear if Samantha will be allowed to remain in Malaysia after she has served the rest of her sentence.

Man hanging
British woman spared death sentence for stabbing her husband to death. (Representational image) Reuters