A mother-of-two accused of stabbing her husband through the throat with a kitchen knife told a jury that he would beat her up "but I forgave him because I loved him".
Kenya-born Susan Lapsley (27) told Stafford Crown Court that before she and her husband Norman went to live in Cannock: "He would beat me up. It happened many times. Sometimes he grabbed my hair and twisted me around. He beat me with his fists."
She added: "While we were in Kenya there were problems with maids we had and I sacked one. I found him in her bedroom and told her to get out of my house and I threw her things out.
"After the violence he would apologise. I would forgive him. I loved him."
Lapsley, of Princess Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, and formerly of Matlock Drive, Chadsmoor, Cannock, has pleaded not guilty to wounding her 55-year-old husband with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm last August
The prosecution claimed Lapsley threatened to kill her husband and stabbed him in the throat with an eight-inch kitchen knife which damaged his vocal chords.
Lapsley said: "In August we were rowing in the back room. I went into the kitchen and got a knife and went back into the room. I was scared he would beat me up. I thought if I had the knife he would not attack me. He picked up an elephant ornament and tried to hit me with it.
"I raised the knife but I did not realise I had hit him in the neck. I was frightened then I dropped it."
The trial continues.