A wealthy Warwickshire pensioner stabbed his wife to death fearing she was going to divorce him and take his money, a court has been told.

Kenneth Mack, 82, appeared at Birmingham Crown Court charged with the murder of his wife of 21 years, Lorraine Mack, in December 2006.

He has admitted stabbing her in the kitchen of their Ullenhall home, near Solihull, but denies murder, claiming he acted in self-defence.

James Burbidge QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "On December 13, 2006, the police were called to an address in the Warwickshire village of Ullenhall after the defendant had called 999.

"He said he wanted to report the death of his wife. He said she had been stabbed and someone ought to come and have a look."

When officers arrived at the £1.8 million home, in Gentleman's Lane, Ullenhall,  Mr Mack met them at the front door and led them to the kitchen, Mr Burbidge said. The lawyer added: "There his wife, Lorraine Mack, lay. She was partially covered in a sheet.

"She was covered in blood and there was blood spattered about the kitchen units. She was dead. In fact, she had been dead for sometime.

"She had suffered about 50 separate stab wounds. As the defendant was to admit, it was he who inflicted those stab wounds."

Mr Mack told police that on the night before he killed his wife, the pair had shared a meal, drank wine and watched television.

Mrs Mack, 51, went to bed early but rose at around 1.30am and confronted her husband about a bank account he had registered in his name, the court heard.

Mr Mack told police she was "very angry" about the account and threatened to divorce him. He told officers: "She thought she could divorce me and get 90% of my pension and the whole of the house."

When arrested, Mr Mack told police his wife had lunged at him with a knife and he had stabbed her to save himself. He said: "We had a domestic, she had a knife so it was like self-defence."

When police arrived at the couple's home to find Mrs Mack's lifeless body on the kitchen floor next to the fridge freezer, there was a knife in her hand.

Mr Burbidge said: "In her left hand was a knife but it appears it could not have been there in life because its handle is devoid of blood and her hands are covered in blood."

The court heard that the couple, who had two sons together, outwardly appeared to be "an ideal couple".

Mr Burbidge said: "To all intents and purposes the couple were well off.  The house was a large house, with grounds. Mr Mack had apparently made money in engineering.

"To their friends, despite their age difference, they seemed an ideal couple. They appeared to their circle of friends to be devoted to each other."

In the months leading up to Mrs Mack's death the couple had been planning to buy a home in the Caribbean, the court heard.

Their Warwickshire home had been on the market for around £1.8m, their son Simon Mack, 21, told the jury

Simon Mack, who was away at university at the time of his mother's death, told the court his father "has always been a closed-off person, who doesn't show his emotions".

He said his father told him what had happened in a phone call on December 13. He said: "My father rang me about midday-ish on December 13 and explained to me that he had killed my mum. He sounded, as normal, unemotional, calm and collected.

"I thought at the time it was a sick joke."

He added: "I didn't believe it. It was obviously a shock."

The court heard that after stabbing his wife, Mack went to bed.

"He said she was beyond medical attention. He said he went to bed and tried to sleep," Mr Burbidge told the court.

When he awoke, Mack ate breakfast at the house where his wife's body still lay, before leaving to fetch newspapers from the nearby village of Henley-in-Arden.

He also attended a pre-arranged dental appointment before returning home and calling the police at around 1pm, the court heard.

The trial continues.