HSBC banker accused of strangling wife

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The Independent Online

A senior City banker has appeared in court accused of strangling his wife to death. Paramedics, who were called to the couple's home in north London at lunch time on Friday, found Katherine Ellerbeck's body.

Her husband, Neil, 45, was arrested at the scene. He appeared at Enfield magistrates' court yesterday charged with murder and was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey for a preliminary hearing on 23 February.

London Ambulance Service said it had sent a fast response car as well as an ambulance to the address in Enfield at 12.10pm but Mrs Ellerbeck, 46, was already dead. The couple had been married for 14 years.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as asphyxiation and manual compression of the neck. Scotland Yard said that officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command were now investigating the murder.

Mr Ellerbeck, the chief investment officer at HSBC's global liquidity business, worked in Canary Wharf in London and was described by neighbours as a "shy" man who was outshone by his "pretty, confident" wife.

The couple were understood to have two children, a son of 13 and a girl of 10, although they were not believed to have been at home on Friday. The banker's employer denied earlier suggestions that Mr Ellerbeck had lost his job amid the current banking crisis.