A BADLY-injured man accused of murdering his wife in a motorway car crash appeared in court to hear he will stand trial over her death.

Ian Walters, 50, was brought before a judge yesterday wearing a ‘halo’ head-and-neck brace with padding around his neck.

His wife Tracy Maria, 48, was a passenger in a black Mitsubishi L200 Animal 4x4 which was travelling on the southbound carriageway of the M1 near Leicester on March 21.

Mr Walters, of Tregantle Walk, Nythe, crashed into a tree at the side of the motorway and she died as a result of her injuries two days later.

He spoke only to confirm his name as he appeared in the glass dock at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday afternoon.

Wearing the cumbersome brace, a blue T-shirt open at the shoulders, jeans, glasses and short, cropped hair, he stared ahead and listened intently during the brief hearing.

After Walters was brought in, Judge Michael Stokes QC, Recorder of Nottingham, said: “I gather he was badly injured in the collision or accident, whatever it was?”

Prosecutor Tina Dempster replied: “Yes, he was.”

Jonas Hankin, defending, told the court the case would go to trial, which would be a complex hearing involving several expert witnesses and reports.

He said: “If the case is listed for the start of term January 2015 I would expect the prosecution to have adequate time to prepare its case and so would the defence.”

Judge Stokes ordered that the case be heard in Leicester, where an adapted bed had been made available for Walters while he was on remand until yesterday’s hearing was moved to Nottingham.

The judge said: “He must be transferred back to Leicester as soon as possible.”

Laying down the time scale for prosecution and defence to prepare their papers, Judge Stokes said: “Given the unusual nature of this case and the issues that have already been identified it must come within the exceptional category.”

Walters was remanded in custody until a plea and case management hearing on October 16, with the trial scheduled to take place in the new year.