A Frenchman who tried to kill his estranged British wife had previously threatened to throw acid in her face if she had an affair, a court heard yesterday.
Cherif Doua (42) made the threat soon after marrying Jayne Brocklesby in 1999, it was alleged.
The father-of-three is on trial in a French court after leaving Ms Brocklesby for dead and killing her 62-year-old mum Valerie at the pensioner's home in West Bromwich five years ago.
He has admitted carrying out the attack but denies acting with pre-meditation, claiming to have "lost control" when Mrs Brocklesby insulted him and refused to let him see his wife.
Giving evidence yesterday at the court in Beauvais, about 60 miles north of Paris, Anne Griffiths, a close friend of Mrs Brocklesby, said she found Doua charming when she first met him.
He was drinking wine and cooking at Mrs Brocklesby's home in Essex Avenue, Hateley Heath, and he and Jayne seemed to be in love.
But Mrs Griffiths, a 62-year-old optician from Great Barr, Birmingham, said she began to have doubts later and thought Doua treated his wife like a "possession".
Following Doua's arrest in connection with a stolen car inquiry in France, Mrs Brocklesby also confided in her friend that she did not think the Frenchman was a suitable husband for her daughter.
She also found out that Doua had been a suspect in the murder of his first mother-in-law in France in
1988. Doua was never charged with the crime.
"At the start of the marriage, he mentioned that if he found out she was seeing someone else, he would throw acid in her face and cut her to ribbons," Mrs Griffiths told the hearing.
She also recounted how both Mrs Brocklesby and her daughter felt threatened by Doua, who repeatedly turned up at the family home after Jayne told him she wanted a divorce.
Under questioning, Mrs Griffiths accepted that she had not heard Doua make the threat about acid but was told about it by Mrs Brocklesby.
The court has heard that paint stripper was found in the boot of a hire car Doua used to get to Britain the weekend before the attack.
It was later found abandoned at Dover. The boot also contained latex gloves.
Investigators claim the gloves and paint stripper were part of a "well-planned attack" and that Doua intended to kill.
The court was told Doua assaulted Jayne the day before the murder over her relationship with a male colleague.
The trial continues.