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Man accused of murdering wife of more than 50 years

Man accused of murdering wife of more than 50 years

A man accused of domestic violence murder of his wife of more than 50 years will remain behind bars until after Christmas.

Heinze Ratke, 72, was charged with murder after his wife, Maria Ratke, 71, was found dead in the family home in Katoomba.

Police were called to the home and found Mr Ratke injured and unconscious.

Police ventured into the home and found the wife's body in the bedroom, allegedly being stabbed 16 times.

Mr Ratke was taken to Katoomba Hospital under police guard, but has since been released and charged with murder.

The couple had been married for more than 50 years and a family told 9News that they were "always happy as a couple".

"She wouldn't hurt a fly," the relative said of Mrs Ratke.

"Most caring, loving soul you could ever meet. She lit up a room."

A family member called the police after being unable to get in touch with the couple.

Court documents allege that Mr Ratke killed his wife between December 9th and 15th, which means his wife might have been dead for almost a week before her body was discovered.

His case was heard in Penrith Court, but the accused did not appear in person or on the screen when the case was mentioned.

He was refused bail until the matter returns to court on February 19th.

Photo credits: 9News