A MAN who 'almost decapitated' his wife in a 'truly savage' attack sobbed with his head in hands as he was handed a life sentence for her murder.

Fatos Xheta rocked back and forth in the dock throughout his sentencing hearing at Oxford Crown Court today.

The 46-year-old repeatedly stabbed Safie Xheta at the home the couple shared in Lytton Road, Oxford, on June 17 this year before placing a gag in his mouth and turning the knife on himself. 

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HMP Bullingdon's consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Hasanen Al-Taier gave evidence in court ahead of the sentencing and said that despite Xheta insisting during the trial his wife was 'alive' there was no evidence of a mental disorder.

Judge Ian Pringle QC, sentencing the Albanian national to life in prison with a minimum of 19 years, said the 'truly savage assault' had 'most likely' taken place as Mrs Xheta lay sleeping in their double bed due to the minimal defensive wounds.

He said the man was 'clearly thinking lucidly' and it had been motivated by a 'consuming jealousy' and an 'obsessive possessivness', with Xheta convinced his wife of 15 years was cheating on him.

Judge Pringle continued: "Many of your family who gave evidence in this case spoke of how it was thought by all to be a very successful marriage and how you both seemed to show love and respect to one another."

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He added: "However, things might not have been as rosy as they appeared to your relatives."

Judge Pringle cited evidence from Mrs Xheta's friend, Dorela Rehova, who worked with her at the BMW plant and said she had seen the 35-year-old with a black eye which she said was caused by her husband.

He said Xheta would only be released after 19 year if the parole board 'consider it safe to do so' and would be subject to lincence conditions for the rest of his life.

A jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty at Oxford Crown Court on Friday after two hours and 43 minutes of deliberation.