A trial date has been set for the boss of a furniture company, which featured in a national television programme, and who is now accused of murdering his estranged wife.

John David Butler, 62, of Larkfield Road, Rawdon, Leeds, who heads the family run Kettley’s Furniture Centre in Yeadon, appeared over a video link to Leeds Crown Court yesterday for a preliminary hearing.

He is charged with the murder of Pauline Butler, 61, who was found dead at a terraced house in Cherry Lea Court, Rawdon on April 14.

During the six minute hearing showing Butler sitting at a table in HMP Leeds, a timetable was set for his case with the majority of prosecution papers to be served by June 9 and a plea and case management hearing fixed for July 7.

The court was told the estimated length of a trial is five days and a date of Monday, October 13, was arranged.

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 to modernise the business.

Abdul Iftikhar, representing Butler, said he was not making a bail application at the hearing but one would be made to a judge in chambers during the next fortnight.

Remanding Butler in custody Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him he would be brought to court for the plea and case management hearing in July and by that time must have prepared a defence statement.

He said if granted bail he must remain in regular contact with his solicitors to do that.