By Tom Gillespie, Sky News
A BRITISH woman who stabbed her husband to death in Malaysia has avoided the death penalty after her charge was reduced to “homicide not amounting to murder”.
Samantha Jones was originally accused of murder and could have been hanged if she was found guilty.
However, she was sentenced to 42 months in jail on Monday after she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide – meaning murder without intent.
Her defence lawyer had appealed to the attorney-general’s office.
Jones, who is originally from Somerset, was charged after police found a 30cm (12in)-long blood-stained knife in the couple’s home where John William Jones was found dead on October 18, 2018.
Police have said Jones confessed that she stabbed her 62-year-old husband in the chest during a heated argument.
The 51-year-old was wearing a mask and handcuffs as she was escorted into court in Alor Setar in the northern state of Kedah on Monday.
Her lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo said after the hearing: “She is very relieved having come to terms with what happened that night and for the court … to understand what happened that night. She didn’t intend for this to happen.”
The lawyer added the couple, who had been married for 17 years, were devoted to each other but Jones was struggling with her husband’s violent behaviour.
Ms Kaur continued: “Unfortunately Samantha found herself at the receiving end of abuse.
“She supported John through various therapies to address certain problems that he had, none of which worked obviously, until that unfortunate night when things took a turn for the worst.
“She has accepted the fact that she needs to serve the sentence. She acknowledged the fact that a life is lost and I think she is looking forward to her own recovery because this was indeed a traumatising event for her.”
Ms Kaur said Jones was also fined 10,000 ringgit (£1,815) in addition to the 42-month sentence, which starts from the date of her arrest in 2018.
The lawyer added Jones, who has spent 20 months in detention, could be released as early as the end of next year with one-third off the sentence for good behaviour.
Jones and her husband moved to the tropical Langkawi island more than a decade ago under the Malaysia My Second Home programme, which gives foreigners long-staying visas.
A conviction for murder carries a mandatory death sentence by hanging in Malaysia.
Execution is also a mandatory punishment in the country for drug-trafficking, treason and waging war against King Yang-di-Pertuan Agong, its constitutional monarch.
The only other Briton to be sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia is Derrick Gregory, who was executed on July 21, 1989 for drug trafficking offences.
Top: Samantha Jones, right, killed her husband John William Jones. Photo: Sky News