A MAN has appeared in court accused of the murder of his wife.

James Bland, aged 62, appeared at Manchester Crown Court yesterday morning via video link from Forest Bank prison.

Bland, of Bury Road, Radcliffe, is charged with the murder of his wife, Carole Bland, also aged 62.

During the 15 minute hearing, the defendant, wearing a green T-shirt with red stripes, was told that he will next appear in court on November 14 for a plea and case management hearing.

Judge David Stockdale also told Bland that a trial, which is expected to last for nine days, is scheduled to start on February 24.

Bland only spoke to confirm his name and address, and was remanded in custody.

There was no indication as to his plea.