The boss of a furniture company which was the focus of a national television programme has appeared in court, charged with the murder of his estranged wife.

Pauline Butler, 61, was found dead of stab wounds on Monday morning at a modern terraced home on Cherry Lea Court, Rawdon.

John Butler, 62, of Larkfield Road, Rawdon, who heads the family-run Kettley’s Furniture Centre in Yeadon, made his first appearance at Leeds Magistrates’ Court yesterday, charged with her murder.

Kettley’s became the subject of national attention in 2012 when it appeared in the BBC’s The Fixer series in which celebrity consultant Alex Polizzi helped its struggle to modernise.

Mrs Butler was also a director of the firm.

Yesterday the shutters were down at the Ivegate store, and a sign in the window read “Closed until Tuesday April 22 due to family bereavement”.

Butler, wearing a blue jumper, spoke only to confirm his name and address at yesterday’s magistrates’ court hearing..

District Judge Roy Anderson told him he would have a hearing at Leeds Crown Court today.

Murder cases now go to the crown court within 48 hours in case a bail application is made, which has to be before a judge.

Butler was remanded in custody.

Neighbours at Cherry Lea Court were visibly shaken and upset following Mrs Butler’s death, but were unwilling to talk about the tragedy.

The scene was cordoned off by police throughout Monday while forensic officers carried out investigations at the house, where the blinds were drawn.

The house is one of a small number of homes with neat and tidy gardens set around a cobbled area.

Leeds City Councillor Graham Latty (Con, Guiseley and Rawdon) said: “I am really shocked by this tragic news.”