The sister of a man accused of murdering his wife at their Sheffield home 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 did not 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 a 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 screwdriver to torture his 28-year-old wife to death, inflicting 270 injuries.
He has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.
Mrs Manaa, from Leeds, said in the months prior to the killing, her sister-in-law told her she was ‘frightened’ of Manaa, who beat her and tore out clumps of her hair for trivial things, such as if the house was not clean.
She said last Christmas her brother had been acting like ‘another person’ and she had even asked him if he was on drugs – but he had smiled and said no.
Mrs Manaa said in the months before the killing Thahi had cut himself off from his family and had taken Sara’s mobile phone away from her.
The trial continues.