The sister of a man accused of murdering his wife at their Sheffield home by inflicting over 270 injuries on her with various weapons has told a jury he had long standing mental health problems.
Wadha Manaa said in the months prior to the death of her sister-in-law, her brother was ‘like a different person’ who talked about conspiracies and was suspicious of ‘everything and everyone’.
Mrs Manaa said her family were originally from Kuwait and in their culture people didn’t believe in mental illness and thought it was ‘black magic’.
She said her brother had suffered from mental health problems for a ‘long time’ and had been to see psychiatrist in Kuwait.
“Sometimes he is normal and loving and other times he’s like a different person,” she told a jury at Sheffield Crown Court.
Thahi Manaa, aged 37, denies murdering Sara Al Shourefi at their home in The Oval, Firth Park, last March.
It is alleged he used weapons including an electric drill and a screwdriver to torture his 28-year-old wife to death.
He has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.
Asked what kind of a person her sister in law was, Mrs Manaa, from Leeds, described her Sara as ‘a simple lady, very kind’.
She said in the months prior to the killing her sister-in-law told her Manaa beat her and tore out clumps of her hair for trivial things, for example if the house wasn’t clean.
She said Sara told her he’d beat her with ‘anything that was in front of him’ and she was ‘frightened’ of him.
Mrs Manaa said when she confronted her brother about the abuse, he became upset and apologised.
He admitted beating his wife but said he hadn’t intended to.
She said: “I told him what he’d done was wrong and he kept apologising. He was upset about what had happened.”
Mrs Manaa told the jury she’d told Sara to complain about the abuse but Sara refused.
“She said ‘no, that’s impossible’. She had a hope that he is going to change. She loved him and she was taking her family into consideration.”
Mrs Manaa told the court she visited her brother and his family in Sheffield for two days last Christmas. She said he was acting like ‘another person’ and she had even asked him if he was on drugs because his eyes were all red and he was never at home.
Mrs Manaa said in the months before the killing Manaa cut himself off from his family and had taken Sara’s mobile phone away from her.
The trial continues.