A wife who was stabbed and slashed to death by her husband in a killing frenzy told a doctor nearly five years ago that he was like a " timebomb waiting to explode."
Philip Parker QC, defending Owen Stephenson at Stafford Crown Court yesterday said mother-of-three, Fiona, also said he became "abusive and quite frightening" when he suspected wrongly that she was having an affair with her brother-in-law.
Stephenson ( 47 ) of Fareham Avenue, Rugby, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife who died from 50 stab wounds at the matrimonial home in January this year. He did not give evidence.
Christopher Millington QC, prosecuting, told jurors it would be contended he should be convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Mrs Stephenson, a beautician, was found dead in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor. Mr Millington said: "He inflicted over 50 stab wounds, some across her face and others penetrating vital organs of her body, including her heart."
Mr Parker said that from July 2000 Stephenson was treated for mild depression and a psychiatrist said he was "obsessed that his wife had feelings for her sister's husband and him for her.
" She said that from October 2000 he became abusive and quite frightening, like a timebomb waiting to explode. A psychiatrist said his obsessional delusion was getting worse. He was given drug treatment."
Mr Parker said in 2001 Mrs Stephenson told her GP her husband tried to suffocate her. In 2002 the couple were reconciled and had a third child.
Psychiatrist Dr Jeremy Petrie of the Reaside Clinic, Birmingham, described Stephenson as "someone with low esteem who needed to be assured he was attractive."