A MAN has denied murdering his wife, saying he suffered a 'loss of control'.

David Clark of Cloverdale, Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove denied the murder of his wife Melanie Clark when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, March 2, before judge Robert Juckes QC.

The 49-year-old is accused of killing the 44-year-old mother-of-three who suffered a suspected knife injury on New Year's Eve.

She was pronounced dead at 12.12am on New Year's Day.

Clark appeared in the dock of court one wearing a grey sweater and grey trousers, his head lowered and his hands held in his lap. The public gallery was empty.

He was asked to stand by the court clerk and to confirm he was David Clark, answering 'yes'.

The clerk told him he faced one count of the murder of Melanie Clark on January 1 this year. Asked how he pleaded he replied 'not guilty'.

Neil Mercer prosecuted. Clark was represented by Alisdair Williamson QC and Abigail Nixon.

Mr Mercer said the defence was to be 'loss of control'. The trial is expected to take two weeks and involve between four and five witnesses subject to ongoing preparation work by the prosecution and defence.

The trial date was set down for June 4 this year as a fixture at the Worcester court. The remainder of the hearing involved drawing up a timetable of stages before the trial, including dates for the disclosure of evidence.

Mr Mercer said: "We will move as quickly as we can. We can all see what the issues are going to be and I'm sure the defence will respond appropriately."

Judge Juckes QC said: "He's in custody. I should remand him accordingly. Would you stand up please David Clark? You can see that the purpose of this exercise is to prepare the case for trial at a time before you reach the limit of time you're meant to be in custody. That's what we have tried to do. In the meantime I will remand you in custody. You can go down."