AN ORPINGTON pensioner accused of smothering his disabled wife to death in a suicide pact, pleaded not guilty when he appeared at the Old Bailey last week.

Robert Smith, 70, of Brow Crescent, visited Orpington police station on November 24 last year and told officers his wife Margaret, 75, was dead.

Police officers visited the family home to find the body of a woman, who appeared to have been asphyxiated.

Neighbours and friends later told of their shock after answering questions from police officers and learning of Smith's arrest.

The former road builder had been married to severely disabled Margaret for more than 20 years. The pensioner had been unable to feed, wash or clothe herself since falling over during a shopping trip more than 10 years ago.

The couple had first started dating each other when Margaret lived with him as a lodger and they eventually decided to get married.

Smith spoke only to confirm his name and to deny murdering his wife.

He was granted bail on condition he reside at a hostel in Luton.

A trial date was fixed for September 10.