5 June 2024

86-year-old remanded in custody over alleged murder of his wife, Wanda Uhle

| Albert McKnight
Police on scene at Gordon home

Manfred Uhle is accused of killing his wife, Wanda Dorothy Uhle, whose body was found at their Gordon home on 2 June. Photo: Supplied.

The 86-year-old husband accused of killing his wife and partner of 60 years, Wanda Dorothy Uhle, has not applied for bail and has been remanded in custody.

Manfred Uhle is accused of stabbing the 78-year-old grandmother, whose body was found at their townhouse in Gordon on Sunday (2 June), before he was arrested and charged with her murder.

The ACT Magistrates Court ordered that he be taken for a mental health assessment on Monday, and he returned on Wednesday (5 June), appearing over an audio-visual link wearing a face mask after testing positive for COVID-19.

The court heard the assessment found Mr Uhle did not have a mental illness, and if he were remanded in custody, then he would require a mental health review due to his distress, grief and possible psychiatric symptoms.

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His lawyer, Legal Aid’s Nathan Deakes, said he would not apply for bail that day and he wanted his client marked as a prisoner at risk out of concerns for his mental and physical health.

Magistrate Ian Temby remanded Mr Uhle in custody, marked him as a prisoner at risk, adjourned the matter to 21 June and excused him from appearing in court on the next occasion if he is legally represented. No plea was entered.

According to court documents, he drove to a relative’s home at around 7 am on Sunday in his pyjamas and robe with no shoes on and appeared shaken when he arrived. He also allegedly appeared to have blood on his hands, face and feet.

When the relative asked where Ms Uhle was, he allegedly replied, “I’ll tell you what’s happened; I just need to catch my breath”, before saying they’d had a fight and she was now sleeping.

He also allegedly said something like Ms Uhle “is at peace”.

Another relative called police to conduct a welfare check. When officers arrived at the single-storey Gordon townhouse on Togo Place that same morning, they found Ms Uhle’s naked body in the fetal position under a blanket.

“Police observed stab wounds to her chest and an injury to her right wrist,” police allege.

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A 30 cm serrated knife was found inside, covered with a towel, along with blood in the home’s toilet, laundry and hallway.

Officers interviewed neighbours, with one stating she had awoken at 5:45 am to a “high-pitched female scream”, while another reported hearing yelling and believed it had come from the Uhle residence.

Ms Uhle’s cause of death was found to be blood loss as a result of multiple stab wounds.

The preliminary forensic report noted she had abrasions, bruising and cuts all over her body, including her face, arms, hands, back and legs. This included nine stab wounds in her chest, one to her back and four to her forearm.

“Family members have provided statements to police outlining the defendant’s declining mental and physical health, but there are no formal diagnoses,” police said.

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