‘Murdered’ Sheffield wife had 270 injuries, court told

Scene of the alleged murder at The Oval, Firth Park, Sheffield
Scene of the alleged murder at The Oval, Firth Park, Sheffield
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A ‘controlling, possessive and jealous’ husband murdered his wife in a brutal and sustained attack at their Sheffield home inflicting 270 injuries on her with an assortment of weapons, a court heard.

Sara Al Shourefi aged 28, was left with a screwdriver embedded in her eye socket and her body was stuffed into a cupboard after the 105 minute attack at the hands of husband Tahi Harroba Manaa, it is alleged.

Mrs Al Shourefi suffered ‘sadistic injuries’ inflicted with ‘severe force’ after she was attacked with screwdrivers, an electric drill, two metal bars, a wooden shelf and a knife at their home in The Oval, Firth Park, at around 10am last March 4.

Manaa’s mother and two of the couple’s four young children were in the property at the time, a jury at Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said the defendant’s nephew Ahmad Jabber was summoned to the house shortly after the killing by his uncle who told him ‘I have killed my wife’ before asking him to help drag Mrs Sharefi’s body into a cupboard under the stairs.

He managed to escape and alert a friend who rang the police.

Mr Jabber later told officers: “His eyes were bulging and he seemed to be like a crazy person, as if he was out of his mind.”

Mr Campbell said psychiatrist Dr Gwilym Hayes was of the view Manaa was ‘a depressed individual who is also controlling, possessive and jealous’.

He said at the time of the attack, neighbours heard the Koran being played at full blast, angry shouting coming from the property and the sound of someone being ‘beaten’ and ‘tortured’.

Mr Campbell said: “She had been hit over the head repeatedly with a variety of weapons.”

Mrs Al Shourefi suffered 270 injuries including defence wounds.

They included stab and puncture marks to her head and neck and lacerations, bruises and other abrasions.

Mr Campbell said some of the wounds were inflicted with a Phillips screwdriver and Mrs Al Shourefi had ‘deep puncture wounds to both eye sockets which had penetrated the brain’.

She had also been kicked and stamped on.

Wounds across her neck had been inflicted with a knife and a metal bar had been used to cause injuries to her spine.

A post mortem examination found Mrs Al Shourefi had died from blood loss, brain injuries and inhaling blood.

The court heard the couple, who have four children aged eight, six, four and two, were ‘stateless’ refugees who fled Kuwait for the UK in 2010.

Mr Campbell said there was a history of domestic abuse in the relationship and there was evidence Manaa regularly beat his wife and pulled out clumps of her hair.

He said following his arrest Manaa, aged 37, denied murdering his wife and told police there were no issues with his mental health.

He has since given conflicting accounts of what happened to psychiatrists.

Mr Campbell said in last April Manaa admitted attacking his wife with a shelf but in July he claimed he had amnesia and could not remember anything about the attack.

He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder.

Mr Campbell said: “The prosecution say the central issue is whether he was suffering from an abnormality of the mind at the time of the attack.

“The prosecution case is that on the evidence you are going to hear in this courtroom, the defendant is guilty of the murder of his wife Sarah Al Shourefi and of that you can be sure.”

The trial continues.

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