Briton could see jail term for Dubai murder cut: report

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A Dubai court has cleared the way for a Briton jailed for 15 years for killing his South African ex-lover to pay blood money to the victim's family in return for a cut in sentence, a report said Monday.

The Dubai Court of Appeal recognised the family of the victim, Kerry Winters, as "blood guardians" allowing their lawyer Hussain al-Jaziri to represent them in the case, the state-owned Abu Dhabi daily The National said.

At Sunday's hearing, Jaziri petitioned the court to implement a legal measure that gives the victim's family the right to have a sentence reduced in exchange for compensation, the paper said.

In a separate civil action, the victim's brother, Kurt, is seeking 400,000 dirhams (around 108,900 dollars) in blood money and moral compensation, The National said.

The next hearing is set for August 8, it added.

Mark Arnold, 42, was found guilty of first degree homicide on June 7 and jailed for 15 years.

Winter, 36, disappeared in August 2008 following a quarrel with Arnold. Prosecutors charged him with clubbing her to death with a baseball bat and dumping her body in the sea with weights attached.

He was spared the death penalty because the body was never found.

Arnold has been in custody since August 2008 and also received a one-month jail sentence for endangering the life of a Lebanese housemate of Winter by swinging a baseball bat at him when he was alerted to the argument between the two outside her villa.

© 2010 AFP

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