Husband given life sentence for 'ferocious and chilling' screwdriver attack against his wife

Police have urged other victims of domestic abuse to contact them

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The Independent Online

A husband who tortured and killed his wife has been handed a life sentence, after he left her with at least 270 injuries following a “ferocious and chilling” attack.

Thahi Harroba Manaa, 37, used weapons including screwdrivers, metal bars and an electric drill to kill Sara Al Shourefi, 28, in a sadistic assault at their Sheffield home, which lasted over an hour.

He left one screwdriver embedded in her eye socket following the attack, a trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard.

A judge today ordered Manaa to serve at least 23 years of his life sentence before he is considered for release, the judiciary confirmed.

Mrs Al Shourefi's family have said that "justice has now been done."

Psychiatrists agreed that Manaa was suffering from a serious psychotic illness, probably paranoid schizophrenia, the judge added.

Mrs Shourefi had come to the UK from Kuwait with Manaa and their children in 2010, the court heard.

Manaa’s mother and the couple’s two youngest children were present at their home as he subjected Mrs Al Shourefi to “extreme and sustained violence”, for perhaps as long as one-and-three quarter hours, Mrs Justice Cox told the court today.

She said the “ferocious and chilling” attack on 4 March 2014 was one of “unimaginable barbarity”.

“The pain, terror, anguish and desperation she would therefore have suffered, as you inflicted these appalling injuries upon her and ended her life, is truly horrifying to contemplate,” Mrs Justice Cox added.

Police discovered Mrs Al Shourefi's body in a cupboard under the stairs after they were called to the house on The Oval, in the Firth Park area, in March last year.

Manaa abused Mrs Al Shourefi for a long period of time, but she had kept silent believing it was inappropriate to speak against her husband.

In the wake of Mrs Al Shourefi's tragic death, officers have renewed calls for victims of domestic abuse to contact them.

Manaa had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but this was rejected by the jury, who found him guilty of murder a week ago.

In a statement, issued after Manaa was found guilty last week, Mrs Shourefi's sister said she remains in "deep shock" about what happened to her sister, but said justice had been served.

"She was such a lovely natured person, gentle and kind, she did everything Thahi asked of her but he treated her so badly, thinking of the suffering she must have gone through at his hands, it breaks my heart.

She said: "Justice has now been done for Sara and for my family. I think that the British justice system is fair and has come to the right conclusion and because of this great system it has been proved for sure that Thahi is evil and intentionally caused my sister to suffer, something which I knew all along.”

Detective Chief Inspector Zaf Ali, who led the investigation, said: “This was a horrific and brutal attack on a woman that has left four young children without their mother and a family completely destroyed.”

Additional reporting by PA