Safie Xheta death: Husband attacked wife months before fatal stabbing

Safie Xheta Image copyright Safie Xheta
Image caption Safie Xheta told her friend her husband gave her a black eye

A man accused of murdering his wife had attacked her a few months before she died, a court has heard.

Safie Xheta, 35, was found dead next to her husband, Fatos, 46, at their Oxford home on 17 June.

One of her friends told Oxford Crown Court that months before she was stabbed to death Mr Xheta had given his wife a black eye and smashed her phone.

Giving evidence Dorela Rehova said her friend had been "very upset" and was "in a bad place" at the time.

Ms Rehova, who worked as a cleaner at the Mini factory with Mrs Xheta, said her friend told her: "'I got a black eye from Fatos. He found some messages on my phone from Italy.

She said Mrs Xheta told her "Why does he not allow me to have friends? I don't have the phone anymore because he smashed it".

Image caption Mrs Xheta's body was found in a house on Lytton Road in Cowley

Earlier the court heard from other prosecution witnesses that some of Mr Xheta's relatives had visited the couple's home in Lytton Road, Cowley, the day before Mrs Xheta died, and did not notice anything wrong.

Arjan Lazri, a cousin of Mr Xheta, said she "looked so happy, I still can't believe it".

He added: "There was nothing to suggest there was anything untoward."

Mr Xheta's brother Dashmir said the couple had "respect for one another" and the defendant had loved his wife.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The couple met as part of an arranged marriage in their native Albania

Another of Mr Xheta's cousins, Bektash Lazri, was asked if he had ever seen the couple argue.

"To tell the truth no, they walked hand in hand, in love," he said.

A jury heard the couple had met as part of an arranged marriage in their native Albania and later moved to Italy.

On Monday, prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson said Mrs Xheta suffered cuts to her neck so deep that they "almost decapitated her".

He said Mr Xheta had become "controlling" and "suspicious" of his wife and believed she had been unfaithful.

Mr Xheta denies murder and the trial continues.

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