A Woolwich pensioner has admitted stabbing and beating his wife to death with a rolling pin.

Zhizhang Shan, 74, appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday (November 25) charged with the murder of Shuren Ma, 73, on July 1 last year.

During the hearing, Shan denied the murder charge but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC indicated the plea was accepted by the Crown.

He told the court: "The deceased is this defendant's wife and in short he attacked her with a rolling pin, striking her repeatedly over the head with it, then with a knife, stabbing her repeatedly in the chest and abdomen.

"He then made concerted efforts to kill himself by stabbing himself in the abdomen."

The court heard an expert had found that the Woolwich man was suffering from a serious depressive illness with paranoid features at the time of the killing.

The Chinese defendant was assisted by a Mandarin interpreter and bowed repeatedly to the court.

Shan was remanded into a secure hospital, and Judge Richard Marks QC adjourned sentencing until December 6.