Woman found dead with 270 injuries ‘alive for majority of attack’

Scene of a woman's murder on The Oval, Firth Park, Sheffield
Scene of a woman's murder on The Oval, Firth Park, Sheffield
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A 28-year-old woman whose dead body was found with hundreds of horrific injuries was alive for the majority of a brutal and sustained attack by her husband, a court heard.

Forensic pathologist Naomi Carter told Sheffield Crown Court that Sara Al Shourefi had a number of ‘defensive wounds’ on her hands and arms, indicating she had been fending off blows.

She suffered at least 270 injuries - with screwdrivers, an electric drill and a wooden shelf among the weapons using during an assault lasting almost two hours by her husband Thahi Harroba Manaa, 37.

Manaa has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murder in relation to the killing at their home in The Oval, Firth Park, on March 4 last year.

The court heard the victim’s injuries included stab wounds, potentially from screwdrivers and a drill, that in some instances had gone ‘completely’ through her hands.

Reading Dr Carter’s findings to her, prosector Nicholas Campbell QC said: “These injuries must have been sustained where she had her hands over her head as blows were being landed. It follows that Sara Al Shourefi must have been alive and capable of making some attempts to defend or shield herself during the assault. You are not able to state what time during the assault she ceased to have that ability. She was alive for most of the assault, even though she may have been rendered unconscious and incapable of defending herself towards the end.”

The court also heard some of the stabbing injuries from a screwdriver had penetrated her brain, with one wound being 11cm deep.

Nirmal Shant QC, defending Manaa, said Dr Carter’s evidence did not explain her client’s mental state at the time. The court has previously heard he had a psychotic illness. The trial continues.